Thursday, 21 May 2015

Bribery scare in tribunal * PDP, APC show sign of desperation

Bribery scare in tribunal * PDP, APC show sign of desperation Bribery scare in tribunal * PDP, APC show sign of desperation


While Mr. Udom  Emmanuel of the  Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is set to be sworn -in as the next Governor of Akwa Ibom state on May 29, there is palpable tension within the PDP fold with the All Progressives Congress (APC) not willing to retrace its steps as regards its stance on the April 11 election where Deacon Udom Emmanuel was declared the winner amidst wild protest. The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate at the polls, Obong Umana Okon Umana had led a team of his supporters to INEC office as soon as the result was announced to register his displeasure and total rejection of the result citing irregularities ranging from massive rigging, ballot box snatching, intimidation of voters, shootings, etc. 
After all efforts to have the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) cancel the elections which the APC insist did not hold failed to yield desired fruits with INEC insisting that it has no powers to cancel an election that has been held and result announced and rather adviced APC and other aggrieved parties to seek redress at the Tribunal. As the reality dawned on the APC, they did the needful and headed to the tribunal with the prayers that the election be cancelled and a fresh one conducted. But the PDP in Akwa Ibom state insist it won the election fair and square hence it has no fears whatsoever. Tension heightened some weeks back when Obong Umana Okon Umana led some APC stakeholders in the state including the former Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Obong Victor Attah and former Minister of Petroleum, Atuekong Don Etiebet to meet the president-Elect, General Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja where UOU congratulated him for his victory at the polls and also explained to him what transpired in Akwa Ibom state during the March 28 and April 11 polls.

Bribery scare in tribunal * PDP, APC show sign of desperation

In his response, Buhari had asked Umana Umana to seek redress at the tribunal promising that he will ensure that justice prevails at the end. Since that visit by the APC with what many consider as a high powered delegation, supporters of APC in the state launched back to life after a long lull, bragging that it is set to floor the PDP at the Tribunal. The APC in Akwa Ibom state believes that with the change of baton at the centre, the APC is strongly of the view that it will have presidential support in the case at hand. But the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom state has warned that the case should not be influenced in any way. In an interview recently in Uyo, the Commissioner for Transport, Prince Godwin Ntukudeh noted that no one can upturn the victory of Udom Emmanuel since he won the election overwhelmingly.  While the argument rages, the battle has shifted to the tribunal with the formal inauguration of the Tribunal on Tuesday 19th May, 2015.

Bribery scare in tribunal * PDP, APC show sign of desperation

It could be recalled that the Tribunal had granted a motion for the inspection of the ballot papers used for both the governorship and Ikot Ekpene Senatorial district elections. The inspections were carried out last week amidst some glaring hitches ranging from mix up of ballot papers, delay in producing the materials for inspection and other complaints raised by the APC who accused the PDP of trying to scuttle the process.  But the PDP have denied claims that it made efforts to delay or scuttle the process, accusing the APC of raising false alarm to curry sympathy from unsuspecting members of the public.  Mr. Inibehe Okori is also in tribunal challenging the election of chief Godswill Akpabio of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who was declared winner of the April 11 National Assembly election. 

Meanwhile, there are desperate moves by the PDP and APC to bribe their way to victory at the Tribunal. Our reporter gathered that tension has gripped both camps as no one is sure of how the whole process will pan out. The PDP, reports say, are seemingly jittery as to the possibility of the APC using the federal might to sway the case in favour of the party. Hence with that in mind, it appears PDP is not leaving anything to chance and is said to be doing all it can to neutralise any move by the APC to use any power, real or imagined to influence the case, insisting that the case should be treated on its merit.  The APC, on the other hand, is also working round the clock to ensure that it is not outsmarted by the PDP. Both camps are said to be devising ingenious means to either bribe the judges or have the case delivered in its favour. PDP believes it has the money to throw around hence can influence the judges but the APC is seemingly not shaky since the party believes that it will use federal might to challenge the PDP all the way.

With the Tribunal having been officially inaugurated, all eyes are on the judges to see how things will eventually pan out I the coming days.

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