The Akwa Ibom State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has been advised to exercise restraint and desist from raising false alarm against the ongoing election petition tribunal in the State. This was the position of Akwa Ibom Liberation Movement, AILM, in response to what it described as “baseless allegations made by the opposition party” during a press conference in Uyo, today.
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In a press release signed by its Secretary General, Samuel Abasiekong Esq., the group reminded the APC that “making unsubstantiated claims about the tribunal was childish and unfounded.”
Akwa Ibom State Chapter of the APC, in the press conference, had claimed that it established that Hon. Justice Jennifer Mbalamen Ijohor, who is the Chairman of Panel 2, National and State House of Assembly Election Petition in Akwa Ibom State, has a strong family relationship with a PDP stalwart, and therefore, there was a clear conflict of interest in her work.
But AILM questioned the timing of these allegations.
“Is it not suspicious that APC and its candidates waited for all its witnesses in the National and State Assembly petition tribunal to runoff their testimonies and the tribunal reached the critical stage of giving judgement before they suddenly began to cry wolf? Had the judgement favoured them, would they have raised these false alarm?
“Like we have always stated, the APC in Akwa Ibom State is a an assemblage of political jobbers, who do not have any concrete political structure or real followers except hired crowd and paid agents on social media.
” We are aware that almost all those so called APC candidates for State House of Assembly elections had accepted defeat at the polls, knowing they did not prepare for it and had no money to pay for litigation. However, they were all directed to contest their elections in tribunal as their legal expenses will be taken care of.
“Our intelligence also revealed that a former NDDC boss did this to support his case at the Governorship election petition tribunal; intending to sustain the impression that APC is on ground and stood a chance of winning at Local Government Areas. Whereas the truth as variously confessed by APC witnesses is that the party failed woefully because it intended to rely on federal might to win through rigging.”
On the claims of threat to life, AILM questioned the authenticity of these allegations, drawing attention of the public to what it described as several antics of the petitioner to have the tribunal relocated from the State.
“We are not surprised by these claims of threat to life. In fact, it was expected because the APC, who is the petitioner in these matters, had tried in many ways to have the tribunal relocated to Abuja. There were series of petitions against the sitting of the tribunal in Uyo.
“The APC is quick to allege threat to life of its witnesses, but forgets to add that its chieftain actually started threatening witnesses by having his media aide post pictures of INEC staff on Facebook while they gave testimony.
“Our take on this allegation is that in the State, APC is known for violence and intimidation. Therefore, we urge the party to look inwards to identify those behind these alleged threats.
“In addition, we wonder if this is not another futile effort to relocate the tribunal because recent intelligence reports exposed how APC chieftains had plotted to create an atmosphere of insecurity in the State in order to force the tribunal to be relocated.
“Much as we pray that investigations into these allegations be commenced by relevant security agencies.