The Akwa Ibom state chapter of All Progressives Congress has been accused of raising false alarm The accusation was made by Akwa Ibom Liberation Movement The group accused the opposition party of distracting the election petition tribunal in the state with wild allegations The Akwa Ibom state chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) has been advised to exercise restraint and resist 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 allegations made by the opposition party during a press conference in Uyo, on Saturday, July 13. In a press release sent to journalists and signed by its secretary-general, Samuel Abasiekong Esq., the group berated the APC for making unsubstantiated claims about the tribunal, adding that it was childish and unfounded.
The APC had in the press conference claimed that it has established that Hon. Justice Jennifer Mbalamen Ijohor, who is the chairman of panel 2, National and state House of Assembly election petition tribunal in Akwa Ibom state, has a strong family relationship with a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, opining there is a clear conflict of interest in her work. The AILM, however, questioned the timing of the allegations made by the APC.
The group said: “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 by former Managing Director of NDDC, Mr. Nsima Ekere.
“Our intelligence also revealed that Mr.Ekere 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 violence and federal might to win through rigging.”
On the claims of threat to life, AILM questioned the authenticity of the allegations, stressing that it is a ploy by the APC to have the tribunal relocated from Akwa Ibom 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. “As confirmed by chairman of the governorship election petition tribunal, Justice A. W. Yakubu, 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, Senator Godswill Akpabio actually started threatening witnesses by having his media aide, Anietie Ekong, post pictures of INEC staff on Facebook while they gave testimony,” the group said.
Meanwhile, the AILM has disagreed with the views of the candidate of Young Democratic Party (YDP) in the 2019 governorship election in Akwa Ibom state, Architect Ezekiel Nyah Etok, over his comments on the newly launched state airline, Ibom Air.
AILM, in a media briefing held in its secretariat in Uyo, on Wednesday, July 10 by Abasiekong, opposed what it described as Etok’s doubts on the profitability and sustainability of the airline. The group said although the YDP guber candidate thought the state’s airline is a wasteful venture, “several Nigerians, including notable opposition sympathizers such as APC chieftain, Mr.
Anietie Usen and human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong Esq., gave great review for the unprecedented feat.”