Refrain from lies and cheap blackmail, INEC tells Akpabio’s lawyer
By Imaobong Udo, Uyo
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged Barrister Patrick Umoh, a lawyer to former Senate Minority leader, Godswill Obot Akpabio to refrain from telling lies and sponsoring cheap blackmail against the commission.
Barrister Umoh had accused INEC of denying the legal team of Senator Akpabio access to electoral materials of the just concluded 2019 Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial election to help their case in the tribunal.
But responding to Umoh’s allegations, the Public Affairs Officer of the Commission in Akwa Ibom State disclosed that the allegations was a cheap blackmail and noted that INEC under the leadership of Mike Igini was working round the clock to uphold the integrity of the electoral process.
He reminded Barrister Umoh that lawyers were men of honour who at all time should draw a line between bad politics and advancing the cause of Justice.
“We urge the good people of Akwa Ibom State to disregard this cheap blackmail by Barr. Patrick Umoh and his cohorts and be assured that INEC under the leadership of Mike Igini, Esq, will at all times work to uphold the integrity of the electoral process,” he noted
“Barr. Patrick Umoh must be told that Lawyers are men of honour and should be honourable enough to draw a line between bad politics and advancing the cause of justice,” he added
An APC chieftain who spoke with Nigeria Today on condition of anonymity wonders why Akpabio’s legal team will resort to blackmail instead lining up convincing evidence that will win the case at the tribunal.
“As an APC chieftain, I am so ashamed to hear this. This is beyond ordinary, I was expecting to see convincingly evidence that can help us win this case,” he noted
“I think what he is trying to do, is to get public sympathy, but that is not how court cases are decided. First, election was conducted, a winner was declared and we think, we were cheated, these are normal post election scenario.
“The right thing is to approach the tribunal which we have done, the other thing is to gather facts and evidence, then stand before the tribunal.
“Don’t forget, the PDP are also building their defense, INEC are also doing same, so trying to blackmail INEC instead of gathering evidence won’t help us, if he can’t handle the case, he should step aside, short and simple.
“We are trying to heal our wounds from the just concluded election in the State, which you know was a sad story for Akwa Ibom APC. For the record, It’s not just Akpbio that has a case at the tribunal they are so many others, I wonder why Akpabio’s legal team can’t get down to work like others instead of putting us in this disgusting situation,” he added