The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Nsima Ekere has again plotted his earlier bid to have the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal relocate to Abuja.
The former Managing Director of NDDC alleged before the ongoing tribunal in Uyo that his witnesses have received a death threat for testifying in court.
The petitioner’s counsel led by Mr. S. I. Okutepa SAN told the tribunal that Dr. Ita Udosen received the said threat from a phone number 08135884945.
Okutepa alleged that the threat message has scared witnesses from coming out to testify, and urged the tribunal to order immediate investigation.
Reacting to the allegation, Chief Assam Assam, Counsel to Governor Udom Emmanuel SAN, argued that the text message could have emanated from the petitioner’s camp, adding that the tribunal should not wade into the allegation raised by the petitioner’s counsel, rather it should be handed over to security agents for thorough investigation.
Counsel to second respondent (PDP) Mr. Tayo Oyetibo SAN and that of Third respondent Solomon Lelanye, concurred this position and urged the tribunal to recommend the matter to the relevant security agents.
Responding, the Tribunal Chairman Justice A. W. Yakubu recalled that at the beginning of the tribunal, some people wrote reports to the Appeal Court asking the court not to allow the tribunal to sit in Uyo, but rather move it to Abuja.
According to him, Appeal Court did not grant the prayer as the tribunal was urged to continue sitting in Uyo, but to report any act of threat to the upper court.
This latest move is allegedly the third attempt in a calculated series of plots to cause the relocation of the tribunal to Abuja by the defeated APC candidate, who is seen to have been frustrated by the poor run of form by eleven witnesses he has so far presented.
It would be recalled that an earlier plot to instigate violence and create a scenario of insecurity in the state was busted last month which has seen the tribunal remaining in Uyo.
It would be recalled that series of campaigns by the opposition elements, alleging insecurity in the otherwise peaceful state, has culminated in the recent report by the UK Foreign Commonwealth Office, alleging that the State is among 21 states unsafe for visits because of insecurity.
This had sparked off series of outrage from indigenes and residents alike, while the state government dismissed the report with a wave, insisting that a state with the second highest traffic of Foreign Direct Investments couldn’t rightly be said to be unsafe.
Eleven witnesses have so far testified for Mr. Nsima Ekere, who is questioning the re-election of Governor Udom Emmanuel.