A Spider web is a structure created by a spider out of silk extruded from its spinnerets, generally meant to catch its prey. Such can be likened to the fathom “victory” of Senator Godswill Akpabio, a victory in disguise meant to hunt him.
The recent judgment of the Calabar Court of Appeal regarding the conduct of fresh election in Essien Udim Local Government Area in less than 90 days which has stirred lots of controversy between the two leading parties in the state – APC and PDP – seems to be misconstrued.
Supporters and analysts alike have gone to extremes in the course of saying what they know and do not know on the fate of Akpabio and Ekpenyong.
Similarly, quite a number of vain celebrations are ongoing by those thinking Akpabio won at the Appeal Court. This ignorance of what the Appeal Court’s ruling implies has also necessitated the myriad of name-calling hurled at the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Mike Igini.
The vain celebrators, rather than focus on the issues in the ruling are painting the town red for a verdict that against Akpabio .
The point is that Akpabio and his people celebrating a case they lost shows that they must be under the influence of something. They’re writing all kind of things suggesting that he won. Of Course those people are pushing him to his early political grave.
The question that we should ask those congratulating Akpabio is, What was the case of the parties in the Tribunal ?
What was the case of Akpabio at the tribunal and Appeal court ? Was any of his prayers granted ? None was granted,therefore , celebrating the Court of Appeal judgement would amounted to absolute foolishness.
For clarity, Akpabio lost big time at the Court of Appeal because his case from the Tribunal in Uyo up to the Appeal at Calabar was that he won the Senatorial District election in Akwa Ibom North west, that INEC arbitrarily and bluntly refused to add his 61,339 votes to his results.
And that if the scores were added, he’ll be a winner, therefore, the Court should add the figures to his votes and declare him the winner. That was Akpabio’s case.
Akpabio did not ask that election in Essien Udim Local Government Area should be annulled, he never said so. He claimed that the votes were genuine, legitimate and should be added to his votes but both tribunal and Appeal rejected the votes. He never asked for the cancellation, so why the celebration?
What was the case of INEC? The case of INEC from day one was that there were massive rigging of the election, manipulation, violence and snatching of sensitive ballot and result sheets. Akpabio led thugs to snatch result sheets and taken to private homes to be thumb printed for him.
INEC made this public during the election that the genuine votes for Essien Udim Local Government Area according to the accreditation reports and voters register ticked 19,455 as recorded by the card reader. And that Akpabio’s 61, 339 votes are dubious and concocted. That was the case of INEC.
INEC further showed that for the fact that from the election, they did not declare anyone winner of the election in Essien Udim State Constituency uptil today attest to the consistency of INEC position.
So at the Tribunal, Akpabio lost, He went to Appeal court and again his bogus 61,339 were rejected as fake and not genuine.
The court ordered that election be conducted again in Essien Udim in support of INEC’s position . Why are his supporters celebrating a monumental failure?
What we should be asking Akpabio at a time is, whether the 61,339 votes he claimed that INEC didn’t accept added for him? The answer is NO otherwise he would have been declared the winner. That means Akpabio lost again at the Appeal.
Akpabio has lost because he didn’t ask that Election be reconducted in Essien Udim Local Government. So when you hear Akpabio and his people claiming that the Appeal cancelled the election in Essien Udim because of several Election malpractices, ask them, who perpetrated the malpractices?
Are they not the same people?
INEC was the one talking about malpractices at the court, but they were saying that there were no malpractices, that the Election in Essien Udim was free and fair. So who lost?
Akpabio filed a Cross Appeal but it was struck out by the Appeal Court. Why is he not talking about that? Not only that, Akpabio also alleged that there was over voting in Obot Akara Local Government Area which led to the cancellation of results in his Local Government Area, but INEC illegally returned the result of the Local Government. That same argument was rejected by the Court of Appeal.
So how did he win? His argument that there was a case of over-voting in Obot Akara Local Government was rejected by the Appellate Court.
The Court of Appeal did not agree with him that INEC did anything contrary to the electoral guidelines. Nigerians would recall that it was this same Obot Akara that Akpabio’s boys went and burn down all INEC vehicles in the eve of the election.
Akpabio also said that his votes in Midim 1 and Midim 2 in Abak was unjustifiable cancelled and he was denied of about 4,000 votes which he allocated to himself but canceled by INEC. The Court upheld INEC’s decision to cancel those votes. So how did Akpabio win? So many election materials were hijacked in Abak and INEC officials refused to accept those results.
He pleaded to the Court of Appeal to add those votes to him, but the Court of Appeal rejected such plea. So how did he win?
He also said that his votes in five polling units in Ini Local Government Area were also cancelled by INEC without justification, but the Court also rejected this argument. How did he win?
None of his prayers granted by the Appeal Court. So how come he’s now bragging of victory at the court of Appeal
The greatest indictment on Akpabio is that everything said by INEC about Essien Udim and Akpabio has been confirmed by the Appellate Court.
If his hands are truly clean as he claims, the rerun will tell. Otherwise, it will be a waste of efforts and resources celebrating a prey stuck in a Spider web.
Richard Peters is a public affairs Analyst and writes in from Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer.