Few weeks after inaugurating the Election Petition Tribunal in Akwa Ibom State, the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party, ANRP, in the State, has accused Governor Udom Emmanuel of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, of allegedly bribing the Registrar of the tribunal in the state, Mr. Abubakar Sadiq, to prevent their Gubernatorial Candidate, Mr Iboro Otu from filing his processes.
The deputy state chairman of the party, Mr. Emmanuel Mfon, speaking in an interview with newsmen recently, said Mr. Abubakar was on Wednesday spotted as he was being escorted out of the government house with a ‘Ghana must go’ bag apparently containing large sums of money.
The party deputy chairman said that the ANRP has reported the compromised act of the tribunal registrar to the President, Court of Appeal through a written Petition.
According to him, “we will not take it kindly with Mr. Abubakar, if our candidate is deprived of his fundamental right to seek justice from the court which is the last hope of a common man.
“it’s not the duty of the registry to reject any petition, it’s the duty of the court to decide after hearing, if a petition is incompetent or not.
“Mr Abubakar for two weeks now refused to steady in his office and even gave his assistant directive not to receive any petition without his instructions, even in my very present on the 1st of April. He was receiving petitions from others but refused to receive our candidate’s petition since on the 30th of March.”
When asked what the party has done about the issue, Mfon said Mr. Abubakar called on him to bring the petition on the 3rd of April after ANRP had petitioned him through the President, Court of Appeal. Meanwhile Mr. Sadiq Abubakar had finally confessed in a release made available to the media on Wednesday saying that the Tribunal was closed on April 1,with the receipt of no fewer than 34 petitions as at April 1.
Amongst the petitions, Mr Abubakar said chief was the one filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in the state, Nsima Ekere against Governor Udom Emmanuel of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
He said the tribunal also received two petitions emanating from the senatorial election, which include the one filed by Senator Godswill Akpabio of APC against Engr. Christopher Ekpenyong of the PDP from Akwa Ibom North West and another filed by Mr. Bassey Etim of APC against Senator Bassey Akpan of the PDP from Akwa Ibom North East.
He said eight petitions emanated from the House of Representatives and 23 petitions from the State House of Assembly elections out of the 26 seats.
© UbongAbasi Ise