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PDP alleges plot by Niger APC to compromise election tribunal

By Patrick Okohue

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Niger State has alleged that some elements in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are plotting to compromise the state governorship election tribunal.

The party said in a statement in Minna on Monday that it is aware of moves by some members of the party through some retired judicial officers in the state to reach the tribunal members.

But, the APC has dismissed the claim of the PDP with a wave of the hand describing it as the “figment of the imagination of the drowning party.”

According to the statement signed by the Director of Communication, Umar Nasko Governorship Campaign Organisation, Alhaji Yahaya Mohammed Usman, and made available to newsmen in Minna on Monday, the party said: “We know for a fact that the Niger State APC has made approaches through several fronts including enrolling past judicial officers to link up to the panel members.

“While we in the PDP have tremendous confidence in the judiciary, we have no reason yet to suspect that the members have compromised in anyway or form.

“We have absolute confidence that they will not and they should not because the truth must prevail one day.”

The statement further added that the suspicion of the PDP had been further heightened by the persistent claims by some leaders of the APC who have continued to boast that “nothing will come out of the tribunal; we have the power and will do as we want.”

Usman in the statement, however, said that the PDP “will continue to build a water tight case that will ensure that our stolen mandate is recovered and given back to the rightful owners.

“We are very much aware of all the electoral malpractices and electoral frauds perpetrated during the sham governorship election, at the commencement of sitting all the facts will be tendered before their lordships,” Yahaya Mohammed Usman said.

He called on the “tribunal members to remain resolute and ensure justice is served so as to write their names in gold.”

However, Media and publicity coordinator to Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, Mr Jide Orintunsin, said the PDP was known “for fake news and propaganda, we will not join them in the illegal act, it is a false alarm.”

Orintunsin said that the APC and in particular Governor Abubakar Sani Bello “has no reason to try to compromise the tribunal because we won the election clean and clear.”

“It was a clear mandate freely given to the governor and other APC elected members by the people.”

The governorship election tribunal after its first sitting during which it directed substituted service on Governor Abubakar Sani Bello adjourned sitting to May 6 this year. The three man tribunal has Justice Halilu Yussuf as its chairman.