By Sunday Ani
The Akwa Ibom State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mike Igini, through his legal counsel, Clement Onwuenwunor (SAN) has written to a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State, Dr. Blessing Agbomhere, asking to retract within 48 hours series of malicious statements he made against him on a national television or risk a legal action.
A letter from Igini’s legal counsel noted that Dr. Agbomhere had on Wednesday, June 29 told the world in an interview on Arise Television, anchored by Dr. Reuben Abati, that Igini has abused the privileges of his office.
Dr. Agbomhere was alleged to have maliciously accused Igini of being partial and biased against the interest of APC in Akwa Ibom State; working for the People Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State; being a ceremonial consultant to the Governor of Akwa Ibom State in electoral matters; having compromised the values of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and being a hatchet man hired by the PDP to work for them in INEC, as well as shamelessly defending the rights of political parties and living in the lodge of the Government of Akwa Ibom State. Dr. Agbomhere according to Onwuenwunor went further to say that he has videos of Igini driving in and out of Akwa Ibom State Government Lodge.
He noted that the malicious accusations had been given unprecedented publicity since they were published to the whole world, and as such, have led to the most wicked attack on the towering image of Igini, who over the years, has a deserved reputation in Nigeria and internationally as a forthright electoral umpire.
He described the allegations as hellish conjectures from the spiral imaginations of Dr. Agbomhere, who neither has the fear of God nor regard for a man of probity like Igini, all in his misguided foray for ephemeral political power.
“As characteristic of unrepentant blackmailers, you threw caution to the wind, and in your frenzied efforts to disparage our client without checking your facts, you did not know, and will be shocked to know that our client does not know where the Government Lodge of Akwa Ibom State is located, and that our client lives in the officials quarters of INEC in Uyo and this is very well known to you. We have the instruction of our client to challenge you or anyone else to post your taunted pictures and videos to the whole world. It will even interest you to know that our client has never visited the home of a human being, son or daughter, or any individual in his home anywhere in Akwa Ibom State since he resumed as the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Akwa Ibom State in 2017 and your allegations of being a hatchet man for the PDP in Akwa Ibom State, a ceremonial consultant to the Governor of Akwa Ibom State in electoral matters, are misguided and reckless in the extreme,” Onwuenwunor stated.
The letter further read: “We need you to recognize that the oath of office sworn to by our client remained his guiding rule and his insistence on compliance by political parties and candidates with the laws and rules of INEC is for the overall benefits of our democratic practice where fraud, manipulations, sabotage and maneuvering of electoral guidelines are completely discouraged. Our client’s principled stance against the above vices is the reason for your unjustifiable vituperations against him on a national television. We shall hold you to your words at the appropriate forum and we hope you will not call friends and foes to beg for you when the chips are down.
“Consequently, we have been instructed by our client to demand from you a retraction of the defamatory statements and an apology to the be broadcast on Arise Television, Channels Television, African Independent Television (AIT) and Television Continental (TVC), and also to be published on a full page in the Punch Newspapers, Guardian Newspapers, Vanguard Newspapers, Tribune Newspapers, and Sunday Sun Newspaper within 48 hours from the receipt of this letter. We also demand a modest sum of N1 billion from you as damages for the said defamatory statements.
“Take notice that if you fail, refuse and or neglect to comply with the above demand within the stated period, we shall have no other option than to perfect our client’s standing instructions against you.”