Group to CJN, ignore calls by Akwa Ibom YPP seeking relocation of Governorship tribunal to Abuja


A socio political organisation known as Patriotic Akwa Ibom Citizens has called on the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola to ignore phone calls or written letters from by any quarters  by the Young Progressives Party (YPP) and its Akwa Ibom governorship candidate in the 2023 elections, Senator Bassey Akpan to relocate the petition tribunal from Akwa Ibom to the Federal Capital Territory Abuja.

Newsieevents had earlier reported that the gubernatorial candidate of the YPP Senator Akpan had already forwarded petitioned to the CJN calling for the disbandment of the state governorship tribunal panel and subsequent relocation of the tribunal to Abuja alleging threats to his life, that of his lawyers and his witnesses.

It could be recalled that things were going on smoothly at the tribunal until June 20 after the cross-examination of the subpoenaed witness from the University of Uyo Daniel Akpan, brought by the petitioner.

In the petition, a copy of which was also read by the lead counsel to Senator Akpan, Ahmed Raji SAN, “the request for relocation was due to unsavoury life-threatening experiences which my client, the lawyers and witnesses have gone through, particularly after the proceedings of 20th June 2023 by the Akwa Ibom State government.”

The group in Akwa Ibom, however, in an open letter to the CJN, signed by its Chairman, Archbishop Israel Ita and the Secretary, Solomon Udoh stressed that the call for the panel disbandment and relocation was borne in bad faith and tactics by the petitioner to deceive the court.

It explained that June 20th incident was “a well-orchestrated plot by the petitioner to create chaos and unleash violence of unimaginable proportions but was averted by the security agents drafted to secure lives and property around the venue of the governorship tribunal sitting in Uyo Akwa Ibom State.”

The letter noted that the panel has gone far and had almost finished the cross-examination if not for the absence of the 1st petitioner (Senator Akpan) for cross-examination.

Describing Akwa Ibom as a very safe state, the group noted that the petitioner was raising false alarm noting that the call was to distract the court and put unnecessary fear.

“We the members of the Patriotic Akwa Ibom Citizens wish to appeal to His Lordship Justice, Olukayode Ariwoola (SAN) to ignore the call by Senator Bassey Akpan, popularly known as OBA for the relocation of the governorship petition tribunal from Akwa Ibom to Abuja.

“The call for the relocation was made in bad faith and to mislead the court or to cause havoc. There is no cause that the tribunal has been compromised and there is no need to relocate it.