Akwa Ibom State governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, has threatened to institute a legal action against one Barr. Leo Ekpenyong, over allegation of 1.5million dollars bribe he levelled against him (Gov. Emmanuel) if he failed to substantiate his allegations with evidence within seven days.
The lawyer had in an interview with a local tabloid in Uyo alleged that gov. Emmanuel doled out 1.5million dollars to the panel Chairman, Justice W.O. Akanbi, to secure justice for the Peoples Democratic Party in the petition filed by Godswill Akpabio challenging the election of Chris Ekpeyong. He accused the governor of trying to bend the course of justice in favour of Chris Ekpenyong and the PDP.
According to him, “Justice W. O. Akanbi, who many thought was a righteous Judge, has received a whopping $1.5million US Dollars from governor Udom Emmanuel and has recruited one Justice Ebetu, another Judge from Bayelsa state to join in the justice-for-sale scam. “Akanbi has clearly jettisoned justice in preference for governor Udom’s Greek gift, since, according to him, he (Akanbi) has only two years to retire”
Irritated by the claims, Governor Emmanuel through the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Uwemedimo Nwoko, Esq described the allegations as not only spurious but morally reprehensible and legally culpable. He said if the Barrister fails to back up his claims with evidence and publish same in three reputable national newspapers within seven days of this publication, he would be made to face the full weight of the law.
The statement by the Attorney general reads in parts, “We state most categorically and without any equivocation that there is absolutely no scintilla of truth in Leo Ekpenyong’s wild and unsubstantiable 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 pay masters to attempt to rubbish and bring to disrepute the sterling reputation and character of Governor Emmanuel.
“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.”