Godswill Akpabio, a senator from Akwa Ibom, has dismissed as “fake”, a news report alleging that he claimed to have the connection to influence the outcome of his petition before the election tribunal in the state.
Mr Akpabio, who lost his bid to return to the Senate for a second term, is at the tribunal to challenge the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s declaration of his opponent, Chris Ekpenyong, as the winner of the just concluded senatorial election for the Akwa Ibom North-west.
“The attention of the Senator representing Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District, Senator Godswill Akpabio has been drawn to a malicious piece of fake news titled: ‘I will win at Appeal if tribunal judges refuse to perform – Akpabio,’ with an equally malicious rider, ‘says Appeal Court President in his palms.’
“We want to state categorically that Distinguished Senator Akpabio never at any forum or private discussion uttered any of these words mischievously ascribed to him. The article is political propaganda manufactured from the pit of hell,” Mr Akpabio said on Wednesday in a statement from his media aide, Anietie Ekong.
Mr Akpabio said those who produced and circulated the story wanted to use it “to intimidate and blackmail the members of the Akwa Ibom State election tribunal and sway them from the course of justice”.
The senator said, “Our suspicion is that having accessed the quantum of unassailable evidence at the disposal of the election petition tribunal of how Senator Akpabio was robbed of his victory in the February 23, National Assembly election, these devious characters have resorted to underhand tactics to overawe the Judges from dispensing justice without fear and intimidation.
“We are of the belief that the sickening brazenness and impunity with which the election of Senator Akpabio as Senatorial candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) was rigged cannot be left unchallenged.
“It is not just about Senator Godswill Akpabio. The right of the people of Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District to freely choose their leader cannot be mortgaged on any account.”
The senator said his opponents were jittery because of his confidence of victory at the tribunal.
“What the authors of this fake news seek to do is the desecration of the judiciary on the altar of propaganda.
“Treating an arm of government with such disdain must be condemned by well-meaning Nigerians and lovers of democracy.
“Once again we are confident that justice will be done as no judge worth his onion will bow to childish propaganda,” the senator said.