BENUE, Nigeria – The Jemgbagh Youth Alliance, JYA, on Wednesday accused the Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, George Akume and 2019 All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate in the state, Emmanuel Jime of alleged moves to bribe Appeal Court judges.
JYA alleged that Akume and Jime were attempting to bribe the Appeal Court judges to upturn the recent verdict of the election tribunal which reaffirmed the election of Governor Samuel Ortom.
A statement signed by its President, Comrade Ternenge Bendega claimed that the APC chieftains in the state recently solicited funds from the party’s National Leader to enable them squash the ruling of the court.
The group also alleged that APC leaders in the state secretly pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari through his Chief of Staff, CoS, Abba Kyari to prevail on the Appeal Court to upturn the ruling of the tribunal affirming Ortom’s election.
JYA urged Buhari to call his party members to order before they set Benue State ablaze.
The statement reads: “has been reliably informed about the attempts being made by Minister of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs, George Akume, the APC candidate for 2019 Benue State governorship election, Emmanuel Jime and other leaders of the party to induce judges of Appeal Court to overturn the verdict of the tribunal which upheld the re-election of Governor Samuel Ortom.
“We reliably gathered that Akume and the others have solicited the financial assistance of APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to enable them raise the billions they hope to give to the Court of Appeal justices to quash the judgment of the lower court.
“The Benue APC leaders took advantage of Tinubu’s 2023 presidential ambition knowing that it will be in his interest to have an APC governor in one more state. We are told that Jime literally knelt down begging the former Lagos State governor to come their aide.
“We also understand that the APC men secretly went to plead with President Muhammadu Buhari through his Chief of Staff Abba Kyari to prevail on the Court of Appeal to reverse the verdict of the tribunal to at least order for fresh governorship election in Benue if outright declaration of Jime as winner of that election is not possible.
“We wish to alert Mr President and all Nigerians that the plot of APC to take over power in Benue State by all evil means will backfire. The plan will cause political crisis of unprecedented magnitude if it is forced on the people.
“Benue voters gave their mandate to Samuel Ortom as their Governor and any attempt to snatch the mandate from him through the use of dubious legal instruments will be met with stiff resistance.
“We youths of Jemgbagh know that Akume who is our kinsman is the arrowhead of that devilish plot and we are prepared to mobilize thousands of other Benue youths to reject the plan.
“We advise justices of Court of Appeal to reject whatever amount APC gives to them and allow justice to prevail. They are noble men and women who have built enviable reputation in the legal profession. We, therefore, expect them not to allow some selfish politicians to tarnish their hard-earned image over a pot of porridge.
“We have confidence in the judiciary to uphold the choice of Benue people, and that is Governor Ortom. Anything short of this is open invitation to crisis. The tribunal did a thorough job when it confirmed the choice of the people. We expect the Appeal Court to also be professional and give justice where it should go.
“Lastly, we urge President Buhari to call his party men to order now before they set Benue State ablaze. Benue people rejected APC at the polls, and bringing the party and its candidates in the last elections to lead the people through the backdoor is against the principles of democracy. Let Justice prevail! respect the people’s choice.”