Senator Akpabio’s move to manipulate Tribunal judgements exposed …plots relocation of Tribunal sittings to Abuja
Few weeks after he was defeated and rejected by the people of Akwa Ibom State, former Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio appeared to have returned to his devious and boastful ways, giving assurance to supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State that he has already secured the movement of the Election Petitions Tribunal to Abuja.
According to him, movement of the Election Tribunal to Abuja was a first step towards the manipulation of the outcome of all the petitions filed by the APC, particularly on the governorship and senatorial elections.
Our reporter gathered exclusively that Senator Akpabio has compiled loads of fake photographs to represent imaginary violent situation in Akwa Ibom State in order to have the venue of the Election Tribunal moved from Uyo, the State Capital to Abuja.
Akpabio had lost his bid to return to the Senate. Chris Ekpeyong polled 118,215 votes ahead of Akpabio who secured 83,158 votes in the Akwa Ibom north-west senatorial district election.
Acting against the convention where aggrieved election losers seek redress at election tribunal, Akpabio had obtained a controversial order from a High Court in Abuja, restraining INEC from issuing a certificate of return to his opponent, Ekpenyong. He however withdrew the case and it was consequently struck out.
Since then, Akpabio has not stopped boasting that he will use both his financial and political influence to get the senatorial seat and the State governorship back at the Tribunal.
Senator Akpabio, who was said to have been shocked at the way he was disgraced by the people told his inner caucus three days ago that he will singlehandedly influence the outcome of the election cases when the case both at the Lower Tribunal and the Court of Appeal.
“I have already received the assurance from the husband of the President of the Court of Appeal, my dear brother and our party Senator-Elect for Bauchi North Senatorial District, Alhaji Adamu Bulkachuwa that he will prevail on the wife, Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa to change the tribunal members and ensure that only those who are sympathetic to the APC will be made members of the tribunal.
“As I speak, I have the names of those who would be made to replace the Tribunal members and President Buhari is aware of this,” one of our sources quoted Akpabio to have boasted.
A top APC leader, who preferred anonymity said he had counselled top APC supporters in Akwa Ibom State on the need to allow peace reign said it was necessary for Akpabio to face the reality that he was rejected and beaten fair and square?
“When will Akpabio know that the people of Akwa Ibom State have made their choice and the choice was done at the polls that were adjudged to be the freest and most credible and transparent election ever conducted in the State?
“Why is Akpabio playing with the destiny and the will of Akwa Ibom people, when the people have spoken and made their choices known as to those they prefer to lead them?
“Akwa Ibom State is the most peaceful State in the nation. It is a known fact that throughout the electioneering campaigns and the election proper, no single life was lost.
” Even in spite of the intimidation and harassment from security agencies that we employed, the people were civil and resolute in ensuring that they voted for the candidates of their choice. Manufacturing fake pictures purported to depict violence during the election is the high of desperation and hypocrisy and the world must be put on notice and my conscience won’t allow me to be part of such.
“Rather than plotting evil against the state by trying to influence Tribunal judgements, Godswill Akpabio should be humbled by his defeat and rejection by his people and stop playing God in the life of Akwa Ibom people,” the APC chieftain said.