The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in Akwa Ibom state has advised the candidate of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District in the just concluded National Assembly election, Senator Godswill Akpabio to sincerely pursue his petition at the ongoing election tribunal in the state rather than embark on blackmailing the commission.
The head of senator Akpabio’s legal team Barr Patrick Umoh had in a social media post alleged that INEC had denied him and members of his team access to inspect election materials as ordered by the Election Petition Tribunal.
The commission however dismissed the claim by Akpabio legal team as baseless.
In a press statement by Don Etukudo, INEC’s Public Affairs Officer in the State, the commission expressed concern over what it described as blackmail and lies by senator Akpabio and his legal team.
The statement reads in part: “we find it distasteful and hard to believe that a legal practitioner can so cheaply and dishonorably lend himself for use in this unholy enterprise against his conscience and the truth.
“The truth is that a seven-man legal team of Sen. Akpabio has been in the Commission and has actually commenced the process of inspecting the election materials. They were led into the Strong Room of the Commission where they sighted and confirmed that there are indeed materials and documents to be inspected.
“Since the materials are inevitably stacked in heaps, Akpabio’s team sat with INEC lawyers to work out and mutually agree on the modalities and schedule for the continuation of the inspection after the Easter holiday, from Tuesday to Thursday, between the hours of 9am and 4pm.
“It is instructive to note that they had earlier obtained the CTCs of some of these documents and, if they were availed the CTCs of the documents; why would they not be allowed access to inspect the same documents as alleged.”