Gov. Emmanuel Recruits SAN Damian Dodo To Bribe Appeal Court Justices In Last Minute Bait
In what seems like a last minute bait, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State Mr Udom Emmanuel has recruited a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Damian D. Dodo (SAN), to help him bribe the five man panel of Justices of the Court of Appeal handling the appeals arising from the decision of the Akwa Ibom State Governorship Election Tribunal.
A source close to the governor disclosed that the Senior Advocate of Nigeria was recruited after an an online medium SaharaReporters exposed an earlier move by the governor to use a two time senator from Akwa Ibom State, senior lawyer and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senator Effiong Dickson Bob to compromise members of the panel.
The report by SaharaReporters according to the source “disrupted” the plans by the governor and Effiong Bob to bribe the Justices of the Court of Appeal.
“The Governor was shocked by the SaharaReporters report which has now made it very difficult for Senator Bob to reach the panel. That is why Damian Dodo has now been brought into the picture. You know that he only came into the case for the first time on the day of adoption of briefs when he appeared for the governor at the Appeal Court.”
“The Senior Advocate has been involved in many election petition cases in the past and he told His Excellency that he knows how to reach most of these judges. He was actually recommended by a PDP leader that he helped in the past.” The souce stated.
Governor Emmanuel the source further stated has given the Mr Dodo the dollars equivalent of 20 billion naira to bribe the panel by all means.
Sen Effiong Bob who is a federal public servant because of his position as the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the University of Benin in Edo State is coordinating the bribing of all panels handling cases from Akwa Ibom State including the governorship election case.
Many Nigerians and legal observers have said that the Akwa Ibom governorship election case is a test on the integrity of the Nigerian Judiciary.
Just like the case of Rivers State, the Akwa Ibom State governorship election was marred by mass rigging and violence which led to the death of several people. Both local and international observers demanded a cancellation of the election.
While the Card Reader Accreditation Report released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) indicated that only 437, 128 persons were accredited to vote in the governorship election, INEC in Akwa Ibom State in connivance with the former Governor Godswill Akpabio declared almost one million votes for the PDP and declared Mr. Udom Emmanuel as the winner.
The Court of Appeal on Thursday 17th December, 2015 decided in the Rivers State governorship election appeal brought by Nyesom Wike upheld the use of Card Readers for accreditation and struck out Wike’s appeal.
Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal has fixed 12 noon of Friday 18th December, 2015 for judgment in the Akwa Ibom State Governorship Election case.