The All Progressives Congress Akwa Ibom state Chapter in their continuous unhindered retrogressive political expedition served the entire public, especially discerning minds, a very unpleasant literary piece, addressed by them(for want of a more fitting name) as a Press Release wherein they characteristically alleged (without any evidential support) that our Party as 2nd Respondent and other Respondents to their ill fated Petition were attempting to tamper with an avalanche of evidence tendered by their party at the tribunal. The ‘author ‘ or better put, the man in whose name the statement was issued, alleged that they gleaned this gossip from “credible intelligence and classified information”.
The statement on its own does not deserve any response, but the perceptive disposition of neutral minds who in the absence of truth may begin to assimilate and believe lies; and the legal admonition that issues not traversed are deemed admitted, has constrained us to respond to this very pedestrian and lazily cobbled narrative, fit only for comedy.
There is absolutely no truth in the allegation that the PDP and other respondents are attempting to tamper with any evidence, whatsoever. The evidence tendered by the Petitioner have been duly marked and recorded by the court and therefore are now the property of the court, kept in safe custody. These documents, most of them being public documents, exist in several copies, with only the Certified True Copies lodged in the Tribunal and therefore cannot be tempered with. The nearest to what could have been called tampering with evidence, was done by the Petitioner’s Counsel, who was reprimanded in open court for demanding for and handling exhibits, when it was not yet time for that.
We have noted with pity the consolatory ambience that the ‘avalanche’ of evidence gives the petitioners and We do not intend to destroy the placebo effect on them, but wish to subtly intimate the APC that one does not need an avalanche of evidence to win a case and the dumping of evidence on the Tribunal is not a mark of legal craftsmanship. Furthermore, it is the truth that while the Petitioner’s legal team have sought for and changed their petition more than twice, the final amended copy filed on 17th of June 2019,our defence has been constant and unchanging, on what basis will we then attempt to tamper with evidence?
Is it not amazing that the same APC, through their Governorship Candidate cum ‘walking stick’ negotiator and their famed National Comedian addressed a Press Conference immediately after the elections and claimed that they won in 26 local government areas and that they will head to the tribunal to reclaim their victory, by presenting results to show where and how they won? Most surprisingly, both in their petition and oral evidence no mention was made of their alleged victory in the 26 LGAs, rather they claimed that they won in only two LGAs(Etim Ekpo and Essien Udim). This flip flop nature exhibited habitually by the APC will do them no good at the end. If anything, it speaks to their stiff-necked resolve to continue to waste oxygen on a corpse.
Finally, we wish to state that there is no credible intelligence to show that any of the Parties in the petition(except the APC) has any intention to tamper with the evidence before the court. The only incontrovertible evidence which is already in the public domain, is their morbid fear of the impending opprobrium which will concomitantly trail the judicial unveiling of the heap of serial prevarication undertaken by the APC before, during and after the elections.
The unclassified information available to Akwa Ibom people is the divinely ordained, politically executed and democratically attained victory of Governor Udom Emmanuel and other PDP candidates at the just concluded general elections. The APC must learn to live with that painful reality. The Tribunal has conducted her business,so far, under a very peaceful environment and there is nothing to warrant the relocation of the tribunal, except in pursuit of ignoble purposes.
We urge the general public to discountenance the unfounded allegations by the APC, as our Legal team is peopled by very principled and credible Lawyers, who will not in any circumstance, descend to low levels of criminality. It is only the desperate that is capable of doing anything in pursuit of their ambition(including negotiating with militants to help in election rigging ). As a party and Respondent in the Petition before the tribunal, we had undertaken and will continue to undertake to conduct our case in the best practice and tradition of the Bar and nothing will make us deviate from that promise.
Comrade Ini Ememobong
State Publicity Secretary
Peoples Democratic Party
Akwa Ibom State Chapter