By NBF News
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Special Adviser to Governor Ikedi Ohakim on Public Enlightenment & Documentary, Ethelbert Okere, has refuted insinuations that the governor has been bribing his way to win cases being instituted against him over the April 14, 2007 election. Okere, in a statement asked the public to ignore text messages going round that the governor had been boasting to win the pending case on the said election because he had allegedly bribed Supreme Council Judges to rule in his favour.

While describing the insinuation as 'antics of desperate political office seekers together with their agents in the media,' Ohakim's aide said 'the general public should ignore such text messages and publications as they are what they are: Sheer nonsense and the height of desperation.'

The statement read further: 'We are very reluctant in issuing this statement because it would merely serve to re-echo such very unfortunate and calamitous publications that border on the collective integrity of not just the judiciary but the entire Nigeria. But we issue it, nonetheless, in the belief that it is the duty of the state government to dissociate the good people of Imo state from the antics of rascals and desperate political office seekers together with their agents in the media.

'It is not in the character of the good people of Imo state to say things that would impugn the integrity of the revered members of our judiciary. This is because the instant statements suggest, in the first place, that our revered Justices are vulnerable. This is most unfortunate.

'His Excellency, Governor Ikedi Ohakim, has no proclivity for such inanities. Those who have listened to the governor would attest to the fact that he does not sound so ordinary as to say things even the least patriotic Nigerian would not say.

'While we are certain that even the least discerning Nigerian knows that such statements cannot come from His Excellency, the state government wishes to seize this opportunity to apologize, on behalf of the good people of Imo state, to other Nigerians on the embarrassment such statements may have caused them.

'We hasten, however, to add that the insinuations did not come to us as a surprise. It is a familiar script by the so-called opposition in Imo state in their desperate search for ways to discredit the governor. It has since become the practice that the issue of bribery comes up each time we are approaching a major ruling on the avalanche of court cases that were instituted against the governor after his election on April 28, 2007.

'We saw it before the ruling of the Elections Tribunal ruling in Owerri, when the governor's election was upheld. Again, the issue of bribery came up just before the ruling of the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt which upheld the ruling of the Election Tribunal. Lastly, the governor was accused of bribing the judiciary a few days to the ruling of the Court of Appeal on the Martin Agbaso-INEC case on December 16, 2009.