Rivers State chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday, said it had uncovered an alleged plot by the state governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to use both the traditional and new media to blackmail the APC, as well as using federal might to intimidate PDP witnesses at the Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja.
APC in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Chris Finebone, contended that it regarded such alleged blackmail as a facade to hide the fact that Nyesom Wike had clearly run out of credible witnesses to present at the Tribunal.
How can the governor accuse the APC of intimidation when he has successfully subpoenaed top police officers as witnesses at the tribunal? Speculations in the media that the two police officers Governor Nyesom Wike called at the tribunal were arrested after their appearance as witnesses have been debunked by the office of the Inspector-General of Police.
“The IGP refuted such speculations and unequivocally stated that no such arrests were made though there were untoward issues pointing at lack of due process in the subpoena of the two officers. In the case of the Department of State Service, DSS, officer that was called as witness by Wike, whatever shortcomings the DSS may have observed about the purported officer’s subpoena and any action it decided to take in that respect remains the exclusive responsibility of the DSS and could not have been externally influenced in any way and not the least by the APC.
“Signs that Governor Wike, who is the 2nd Respondent in the petition of the APC governorship candidate, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, was having serious challenges getting credible witnesses to testify at the Tribunal became obvious when the governor failed in presenting any INEC top staff to defend what the commission claimed happened on April 11 and 12, 2015.
Instead, Wike presented NYSC ad-hoc personnel to justify that elections held. In the past few days, the APC has observed that Wike had to resort to blackmailing civil servants with dismissal except they appeared before the tribunal as his witnesses to lie that elections took place in Rivers State in April, 2015.
This has resulted in several serving and retired civil servants and some supposed clergymen appearing as witnesses to lie that elections took place in the state. “On the other hand, the APC candidate, Dr. Peterside, (Petitioner) presented top INEC personnel who stated before the tribunal that elections did not hold in Rivers State in substantial compliance with laid down requirements.”