… AILM Condemns delay tactics by APC
A socio-political group in the state, Akwa Ibom Liberation Movement (AILM) has claimed that “chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Nsima Ekere and Senator Godswill Akpabio, and their legal teams appear to be at their wits-end as the window for filing responses at the 2019 elections tribunal’s pre-trial closes.”
Ekere and Akpabio are currently at the election tribunal to challenge the results of the 2019 governorship and senatorial elections respectively.
However, according to AILM, the party’s agents whose names it said are in INEC’s record did not come to testify.
It claimed that “having failed to secure the agents’ cooperation, the chieftains of the APC resorted to randomly filing names of people who were not party agents, creating distractions during court sessions.”
AILM also accused the APC of “deliberate attempts to delay the trial and distract the winners of the election.”
Speaking at a media briefing on Monday in Uyo, the leader of the group, Prince Emmanuel Sam expressed worry over what he described as the antics of the opposition party.
He said, “The trial should have been a straight forward process. If you say the election was rigged, that results were misappropriated or there were irregularities, show proof. It is most uncalled for to hire revelers and brass band to disturb the tribunal in session.”
Prince Sam stressed that the APC had the burden of proving their case at the tribunal, advising the party to stay on providing evidence to support its case “rather than resort to despicable fanfares like the one acted at the last tribunal session for the Ikot Ekpene Senatorial district election.
“As comical as the fanfare was, the witness produced by our dear senator ended up collaborating INEC’s position that there were no elections in the polling units were INEC cancelled results because there was no accreditation.
“We are not surprised by antics of chronic election riggers, who cannot come to terms with reality but have resorted to propaganda and cheap blackmail aimed to arm-twist the tribunal.”
The group maintained that Akwa Ibom people are aware of the antics of the opposition and would continue to stand solidly in support of their leaders especially the governor, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, while awaiting the outcome of the tribunal.
At the last session of the governorship tribunal, counsel to the APC governorship candidate, Jibrin Okutepa, SAN pleaded with the tribunal to grant him an extension of the pre-trial period to enable his clients prepare their responses to the applications as filed by the respondents.