Friday, June 2, 2017

Alleged bribery tape: Anti-graft group asks EFCC to probe Senator Melaye And Justice Ikpeme

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A group, Civil Society Network Against Corruption, has written a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission requesting that the Kogi-West senatorial district, Senator Dino Melaye, and Justice Akoh Ikpeme be investigated.

Last month, SaharaReporters had released an audio tape in which the judge who was handling an election petition involving Melaye and Senator Smart Adeyemi of the Peoples Democratic Party, allegedly demanded a bribe from Melaye in dollars.

The group, in a petition signed by its chairman, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, on Thursday, urged the commission to commence a high-powered investigation by a team of forensic experts into the allegation as soon as possible.

According to the PUNCH, excerpts from the petition read thus, “In the recordings which capture the telephone conversation between Justice (Mrs.) Akoh and Mr. Melaye, at two different times, the judge is overheard asking Mr. Melaye to give her a bribe in US dollars.

“She also sought Mr. Melaye’s assistance for a person he repeatedly referred to as her ‘daughter’ to secure a job at the Cross River State Ministry of Health, with the senator reassuringly bragging that he had already spoken to Governor Ben Ayade.

“It is worth noting that sometime in 2016, Justice Ikpeme dismissed a petition by Smart Adeyemi, Mr. Melaye’s opponent at the 2015 Kogi-West senatorial district election — in accordance with the plot of reaffirming the alleged electoral infractions associated with the emergence of Mr. Melaye.”

The CSNAC said the fight against corruption would remain deficient in the face of unbridled electoral fraud and manipulation if nothing was done and that an investigation panel of efficient investigators must be set up to look into the case as soon as possible.

Melaye had, however, denied bribing the judge, adding that the voice recording was fake.

The lawmaker had, in a message on his official Twitter handle, said Sahara Reporters was fabricating lies against him because he had sued the medium and the case was about to come up for mention in court.

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