The group accused the APC of published the judgement several hours before it was delivered by the tribunal.
According to the group, the party’s cabal including the governorship candidate, Mr Umana Okon Umana, who lost the election to Governor Udom Emmanuel, already knew the outcome of the judgement long before it was made public by the tribunal.
In a statement, signed by the group’s National Co-ordinator, Iniabasi Ukpong (Ph.D), the group stressed that the APC’s prior publication of the judgement calls for concern especially to advocates of democracy.
The statement further questioned if the party was privy to the judgement before it was delivered by the tribunal and challenged security agencies and the Federal Government to probe the ‘scandalous leakage’.
|Governor Udom Emmanuel (in cap) and wife, Martha (on his left) at an event in 2015|
The full statement reads:
“It has become pertinent to draw the attention of Nigerians, the entire world and all lovers of democracy to a festering sore of how the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State published the judgment of the Akwa Ibom State Election Petition Tribunal several hours before the Judges echoed them and delivered a judgment which had already been known to the Governorship candidate of the APC, Mr Umana Okon Umana, and the APC hierarchy.
In a full page advertorial in THE NATION newspaper of Wednesday, October 21, 2015, (the same day the judgment of the Akwa Ibom State Election Petition Tribunal was delivered) and writing under an amorphous group called: AKWA IBOM DEMOCRATIC PROJECT FOR JUSTICE AND EQUITY and with an ominous but very revealing headline titled: “Justice for sale: Has the Akwa Ibom State Governorship Tribunal Been Compromised?” It turned out to be very revealing that the APC may have had a preview of the judgment before the Judges delivered it.
The amorphous group had complained in the publication that “several high profile members of the PDP were on a Dana flight which departed the Ibom International Airport at exactly 11.07 am on Tuesday to Abuja. Among those on board were: Emem Akpabio a brother to the former Governor, Sen. Effiong Bob, Sen. Ibok Essien, a PDP House of Assembly member, Onofiok Luke, Akon Eyakeyi (sic) former Minister, several House of Assembly members, some Council Chairman (sic), women group dressed in uniform, selected youth leaders among others,” to witness the delivery of the judgment.