A political pressure group in Delta State that styles itself as, Hope Delta Democratic Movement, (HDDM) has raised an alarm that the People Democratic Party leadership, (PDP) in Delta Sate has compromised the judges of the election tribunal in the state in order to get favourable verdicts in their desperate effort to cling onto power.
In a statement made available to newsmen, the group alleged that the State Governor, the PDP Chairman and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, have been engaged in last minute desperate efforts to compromise the Tribunal judges in order to get favourable judgment for all pending cases relating to the Governorship, National Assembly and State House of Assembly elections.
The statement which was signed by the National Chairman and secretary of the group, Mr. Francis Umukoro and Mr. Emeka Anyasi respectively, further alleged that, “some of the tribunal judges earlier resisted the overture made to them, but after much pressure, a deal have been allegedly struck, to ensure that, on a wholesale basis, all the APC and Labour Party cases pending before the tribunals sufferer defeat.
According to them; “Information reaching us reveals that in spite of initial resistance by the eminent judges, a deal has now been struck. This deal we understand is to affect all APC and Labour Party candidates whose cases are still pending in the Tribunals.
“As a credible activist organisation fighting for the enthronement of democracy, justice and accountability we would not ordinarily comment on a matter that is sub-judice, but we are constrained to speak out early because the lives of Deltans are involved and we would not condone corruption in whatever form.
“This allegation has become so strong and the details’ coming out so specific that it has become hard to ignore. Also, the recent judgments by the State Assembly election panel, particularly in the case of Chief Anirah, the APC candidate Vs Rt. Hon Monday Igbuya, where Chief Anirah’s petition was off handedly dismissed and Hon Igbuya’s election surreptitiously upheld against the facts and run of the tribunal submissions, gives so much credence to the allegation.
The group also stated that it has always been the nature of “PDP to achieve anything and everything by bribery. This they have consistently done since 1999 as a means to hold on to Delta state ensuring that no credible election ever took place! In this wise, we decided to raise the alarm now as what is at stake at this point is the very continuing survival of Delta as a state! We owe no less an obligation!
“We have information to the effect that PDP and Governor Okowa have procured the services of a husband to one of the judges in one of the panels sitting in Asaba who hails from Kwara state, who have been recruited through the active support of a top most national leader of APC and now a high ranking personality in the current government and who also hails from the same aforementioned state.
“This personality was a co- governor with and still a friend to a former governor of Delta state who still retains an iron clad hold on the politics of the state even though he has been absent from the state.
“We also understand that the Okowa government had to award a contract and make payments to a notorious political contractor purportedly for the uplifting of the now downgraded Asaba Airport. The contract is said to be in excess of N5 billion with N3 billion allocated to buy the tribunal cases on a wholesale basis. It is further said that the contractor has now commenced the distribution of the largesse through the husband of the lady judge who is the go between to the other judges”
They further stated that; “the judges of the governorship panel were at first cautious and reluctant to participate citing the ongoing Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade as their fear but that of recent, after so much persuasion and assurances that ” nothing will happen” they have now summoned enough courage to join!
“We have gone to this detail to let both those offering and those willing to accept to know that whether this allegation is true or not, we at HOPE DELTA are not only watching, but has set in motion the mechanism to excavate the truth of this allegation. We are taking this allegation very seriously and that we will stop at nothing to get to the bottom of it. And when we do, we will do more exposure than what happened recently in Ghana.
“We are also proceeding to alerted the security services and other anti-corruption agencies and request their surveillance capabilities towards frustrating the evil intentions of this most hideous endeavour. We are compiling these issues for onward transmission to the National Judicial Council (NJC) for their necessary sanctions, if truly the tribunal judges are culpable.
“We however hope that the tribunal judges will do the right thing as all Deltans both at home and in the Diaspora are awake and alert waiting for the outcome of the epochal judgment.
“Now that the various tribunal panels have all adjourned pending the delivery of judgement, we urge all Deltans to be vigilant in this remaining two (2) weeks or less before judgement. We on our part will be keeping vigil as we are hopeful for a day of justice that will bring in the new Delta state that we all seek.”