An internal crisis is currently rocking new radio station, Comfort FM owing to the alleged highhandedness and several schemings of the Special Assistant to the Governor on Electronic Media, Sampson Akpan, TheMail can authoritatively report.
The newspaper understands that Sampson Akpan popularly known as ‘Politics Today’ yesterday ordered the arrest of popular radio presenter, George Essien a.k.a Mighty George.
Several sources in the station who confirmed the arrest of Mighty George said it was on the orders of the governor’s aide as Senator Effiong Bob who is the owner of the station has denied sanctioning the arrest.
According to findings, George Essien had an emergency family issues to sort out in Lagos, hence he sought the permission of the Station Manager, Wenigha Jackson a.k.a Family Man who gave him a verbal consent to travel for a week.
George, according to our sources, travelled on Monday 18th December, 2017 and returned to resume work yesterday, Monday 25th December, 2017.
One hour after getting to his office, he barely settled down for the day’s duties when four heavily armed policemen from ‘C’ Division Aka Etinan stormed his office to arrest him.
He asked to know from the police who ordered his arrest and the policemen responded that the ‘director’ ordered his arrest. According to information at our disposal, George showed the photograph of Senator Effiong Bob to the policemen, but they said he is not the one who ordered the arrest. He pointed to the Station Manager, Family Man who was physically present at the scene but the answer was not in the affirmative. When the photograph of Sampson Akpan was showed to the policemen, they confirmed that the governor’s aide whom they erroneously referred to as ‘director’ ordered his arrest.
According to our findings, Sampson who is serving as Executive Consultant to Comfort FM was pained that George did not directly report to him before he travelled, hence the arrest.
He is alleged to have connived with the gateman at the Comfort FM office premises to falsely testify against George at the Police Station.
While at the police station, the said gateman wrote in his statement that he was manhandled by George when he tried enter into the office premises through the gate as there were orders from above not to allow him in, a report which is said to be false by our multiple sources at the station.
However, when the report of Mighty George’s arrest filtered into the CEO’s ears, the Senator is said to have called the DPO of the station to release George immediately.
Journalists who had mobilized to the station to seek the release of their colleague met George outside the station few minutes after his release, with the highly sought after sports presenter calming his colleagues by telling them there was no cause for alarm.
On getting to the station, Senator Bob is said to have convened a meeting between the Station Manager, the Admin, George and the gateman. According to our source, the gateman was asked by the Senator if George beat him up as he wrote in the police statement but he denied, saying George never touched him.
As at the time of filing this report, the popular OAP is said to have resigned his appointment from Comfort FM and is set to return to Lagos where he was hired from by the station.
Findings by TheMail reveals that Sampson is currently serving the State Government as SA to the Governor on Electronic Media while also working at Comfort FM as an Executive Director, thus contravening the rules of engagement of the government.
Just as he has an office and an official car from the government for his role, he equally has an official branded Hilux vehicle from Comfort FM and a tastefully furnished office at the office complex of the station.
He is said to be the architect of the problems and internal wrangling in the newly launched Comfort FM which is named after the wife of Senator Bob.
According to our sources, he has ‘pocketed’ and relegated the Station Manager, Wenigha Jackson to a mere figurehead as he is the one running the station and calling the shots.
He is also said to have masterminded the exit of veteran broadcaster, Eddy Ekpenyong. He is said to have told the owner of the station that Ekpenyong is too ‘AKBCish’ in nature and would turn the station to have the flavor of AKBC as he is too archaic in nature.
Our sources also revealed that he caused the disengagement of Soni Irabor as consultant of the station, allegedly blackmailing him to the CEO that he (Irabor) does not have the wherewithal to generate revenue for Comfort FM. After the disengagement of Irabor, he took over the renowned consultant’s position as Executive Consultant.
It could be recalled that Sampson Akpan has been involved in controversies recently.
During the LG elections, the station through its manager had contacted a certain newspaper publisher to organize some newspaper outfits in the state to collaborate with the station for a debate for LG Chairmanship candidates. But after both parties were more than half way into the deal, Akpan stepped in and cancelled the arrangement, bringing in new panelists into the debate. This, according to pundits was unnecessary as it gave the station its first negative publicity and the debate however tuned to be what the station least expected.
His program on Planet Radio was recently yanked off the air by the management of the station. TheMail understands that the CEO of Planet FM, Mr. Tony Affia is uncomfortable with Sampson Akpan’s involvement with the rival radio station and his many overbearing attitudes at Planet Radio. The program was later returned on air after several entreaties to Affia.
Speaking with TheMail Tuesday morning, Sampson Akpan denied the allegations levelled against him. He said never ordered the arrest of George Essien. He also said his consultancy job with Comfort FM is to last for 6 months and after the duration of the contract he will part ways with the station.
“I was never even at the station. I never ordered the arrest of anybody. All I heard is that somebody went there to fight and police protects that place. The persons who fought were taken to the police station. I was not around. I was in the village. I only got the information from Family Man (Station Manager). Family Man said he was not at the point where there were fighting. Earnestly speaking I don’t even know the division they were taken to”, Sampson told TheMail when contacted by the newspaper.
“As executive consultant of Comfort FM my responsibility is to restrategize and reposition the station for greatness. I did that for Planet FM too. Comfort FM asked me to do the job for 6 months, so when I’m done I’m gone”, he intimated our reporter.