- Udom’s lawyer fingered.
- says Udom’s case is irredeemably bad
- demands refunds for failed ‘deal’
It is now confirmed without an iota of doubt that indeed Governor Udom Emmanuel’s legal team was suffering from a dearth of witnesses to testify on its behalf in defence of the Petition instituted by the Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Mr. Nsima Ekere. The Tribunal has since rounded off its sitting and adjourned to September 10, 2019 for adoption of written addresses.
In the course of the proceedings, Mr. Ekere and the APC (Petitioners) called 46 witnesses while Governor Udom and PDP called a total of 31 witnesses. The 3rd respondent (INEC) refrained from calling witnesses citing lack of use.
After a three-week break, Governor Udom managed to call 11 witnesses. The PDP resorted to calling subpoenaed witnesses in defence of its case. One of the indigenous senior Counsel in Governor Udom’s team bemoaned the absence of credible witnesses in the case. “In view of the hard documentary evidence put forward by the Petitioners, we are heading for a rerun”, he was reported to have said. To lend some credence to this, it was also observed that the lead Counsel to Governor Udom seldom made appearances in the proceedings for obvious reasons.
In its desperation and as part of efforts to shore up its defence or atlease create some damage, a prominent member of the APC National Youth Caucus was approached by the same indigenous SAN to testify against the APC. The SAN, reportedly acting at the behest of Governor Udom Emmanuel assured him of immediate appointment as Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Public Transport, a Prado jeep, Hilux pickup and N20 Million package, if he testified against the APC. The said Youth leader played along and was allegedly given an undisclosed sum of money running into millions of naira. He was to testify on subpoena.
The plan did not materialize as the Youth leader refused to testify hence the abrupt closure of the Respondents’ case at the Tribunal.
This development has reportedly irked Governor Udom and the Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice of Akwa Ibom State Barrister Uwemedimo Nwoko. Barrister Nwoko is said to have been privy to the sinister plot and had urged on the SAN on this line of action. The duo are sorely disappointed in the Eket-born SAN who has failed to deliver despite all the monies collected for the “project”. It is alleged that a lot of money was voted for this failed ‘project’ upon assurances that it will fly and destabilize the camp of the APC.
The learned silk who has been holding the brief of Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN most of the time would not have any of this. He has reportedly demanded for a refund of the sum of N7.2 Million naira from the Youth Leader. In a text message, the SAN demanded for refund of the sum of N7.2 Million before the close of today (Sunday).
The Youth Leader has reportedly fired back. In a text message, he has asked the SAN to “stop issuing threats” against him as the “token you said the Governor sent to us had been shared among our members as expected”. He denied collecting the sum of N7.2 Million from the SAN and expressed shock at such a claim.
Speaking on the matter, a lawyer who prefers anonymity opines that the issue of procurement of witnesses to the extent of offering bribes is unethical and unbecoming of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. “There must be a limit to what one can do for pecuniary considerations”, he admonished.