The Attorney General of Akwa Ibom State Barrister Uwemedimo Nwoko say his ministry will institute a legal action against one Barr. Leo Ekpenyong, over his recent claim that the state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel gave a 1.5million dollars bribe to Justice W.O. Akanbi who is currently sitting on the an election tribunal in Uyo.
The lawyer had in an interview with published in a local newspaper, Metro Daily of August 25, 2019, in Uyo alleged that Gov. Emmanuel doled out 1.5million dollars to a Senatorial Election Petition Panel Chairman, Justice W.O. Akanbi, to enter a favorable judgement for the Peoples Democratic Party in the petition filed by former Senator Godswill Akpabio challenging the election of Engr. Chris Ekpeyong in to the Nigerian Senate.
Read the full statement below:
RE: JUDGEMENT FOR SALE IN AKWA IBOM STATE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS PETITION TRIBUNAL
The attention of the Akwa Ibom State Government has been drawn to a publication by one Barrister Leo Ekpenyong in the Metro Daily Newspaper of August 25, 2019, which was also widely circulated across social media platforms. In the said publication, the writer made wild and insidious allegations against the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Udom Emmanuel. To be specific, Leo Ekpenyong, Esq. wrote, inter alia, “… Justice W. O. Akanbi who many thoughts were a righteous judge has received a whopping $1.5m (US dollars) from Governor Udom Emmanuel and has recruited Justice Ebetu, another member of the Tribunal from Bayelsa to join in the judgment for sale scam”. “…Akanbi has clearly jettisoned justice in preference for Governor Udom’s sordid money and Greek gift since according to him he has just two years before retirement. He further told our informant that even if he were to spend 10 more years on the bench, his emoluments would not be compared to Governor Udom’s bribe money to pervert the course of justice”. We state most categorically and without any equivocation that there is absolutely no scintilla of truth in Leo Ekpenyong’s wild and unsubstantiated allegations. His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel does not know and has never met Honourable Justice Akanbi or any other Judge on the Panel. His Excellency has made no personal contact or through a proxy with any of the Judges. It is, therefore, most uncharitable and unconscionable for Leo Ekpenyong and his paymasters to attempt to rubbish and bring to disrepute the sterling reputation and character of Governor Emmanuel. Let us equally state here that it is not only morally reprehensible but also legally culpable for Leo Ekpenyong to so unconscionably attack the name and character of innocent Judges who accepted to serve the nation in a critical national assignment. Barrister Leo Ekpenyong is known to be a serial blackmailer. He was known to be the mastermind of all the petitions against Chief Godswill Akpabio, the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State and now Minister of Niger Delta Affairs to the EFCC and ICPC until Akpabio succumbed to his blackmail and handsomely paid him to recapitulate. Let us state emphatically here that Leo Ekpenyong has taken his trade of blackmail across redlines. We demand that Leo Ekpenyong should produce the factual evidence to establish his allegations against His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel within Seven (7) days of this publication and publish same in at least three (3) reputable National Newspapers. If he fails to do so, we shall be left with no option but to deploy the full weight of the law, both civil and criminal, against him. Leo Ekpenyong may be well guided to note that this is not a threat.
UWEMEDIMO NWOKO, ESQ.
Honourable Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice