Tribunal: Akwa Ibom state govt refutes $1.5m bribery allegation

Tribunal: Akwa Ibom state govt refutes $1.5m bribery allegation

- The Akwa Ibom state government has refuted an allegation made by one Leo Ekpenyong

- The government stated that the allegation was false and unsubstantial

- Ekpeyong had claimed that Governor Udom Emmanuel paid $1.5million to Justice A. M. Yakubu, the presiding judge of the state's governorship election petitions tribunal

The Akwa Ibom state government has debunked allegation that Governor Udom Emmanuel paid $1.5million to Justice A. M. Yakubu, the presiding judge for the Akwa Ibom governorship election petitions tribunal.

In a statement sent to journalists on Wednesday, August 27, the state's attorney general and commissioner for justice, Barr. Uwemedimoh Nwoko, stated that the allegation raised by one Leo Ekpenyong against the governor and the tribunal judge, was false and unsubstantial.

Nwoko said Governor Udom Emmanuel has not had any contact directly or through proxy, with the tribunal judges since they were appointed.

Part of the statement reads: “We state most categorically and without any equivocation that there is absolutely no scintilla of truth in Leo Ekpenyong’s wild and unsubstantiable allegations.

“His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel does not know and has never met Honourable Justice Justice A. M. Yakubu, or any other judge on the panel. His Excellency, has made no personal contact or through a proxy with any of the judges.

“It is most uncharitable and unconscionable for Leo Ekpenyong and his pay masters to attempt to rubbish and bring to disrepute the sterling reputation and character of Governor Emmanuel.”

“Let us equally state here that it is not only morally reprehensible but also legally culpable for Leo Ekpenyong to so unconscionably attack the name and character of innocent Judges who accepted to serve the nation in a critical national assignment.

“Barrister Leo Ekpenyong is known to be a serial blackmailer. He was known to be the mastermind of all the petitions against Chief Godswill Akpabio, the former governor of Akwa Ibom state and now minister of Niger Delta affairs to the EFCC and ICPC until Akpabio succumbed to his blackmail and handsomely paid him to recapitulate.”

Meanwhile, the state government has challenged Leo Ekpenyong to publish factual evidence to buttress his allegation, else it will institute legal actions against him at the expiration of seven days.

In a related development, Akwa Ibom state council of chiefs has called for caution over the verbal attacks reportedly launched against the re-election of Governor Emmanuel.

The apex traditional rulers’ council in the state in a statement sent to journalists on Tuesday, August 28, said it is totally absurd for a process that was free, fair, transparent and acceptable to be canvassed for annulment.

The monarchs also warned against unnecessary media altercation over the outcome of the 2019 general elections in Akwa Ibom state.

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