By CrossRiverWatch Admin
An audio tape obtained by Saharareporters has revealed how Nigerian Senator Dino Melaye compromised Justice Akon Ikpeme, the tribunal judge who handled his election case in 2015.
Justice Akoh Ikpeme a very senior judge in the Cross River state judiciary is believed to be the 3rd most senior judge in the hierarchy of judges in the state following the recent death of the former Chief Justice of the State, Justice Okoi Ikpi Itam.
Justice Akoh Ikpeme joined the state civil service as a law officer and rose to become the Director of Public Prosecutions DPP, before she was appointed judge.
In the tape, which captures a telephone conversation between Justice (Mrs) Akoh and Mr. Melaye, the judge is overheard asking Mr. Melaye to give her a bribe in US dollars. She also asks Mr. Melaye to assist a person Dino repeatedly referred to as her “daughter” secure a job at the Cross Rivers State Ministry of Health.
Justice Ikpeme hails from Itu LGA in Akwa Ibom State but married to a Cross Riverian from Akpabuyo LGA who is a medical doctor working with the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH.
It was not immediately clear if Mrs. Ikpeme’s daughter got a job with the Cross River state government, but in a second call between her and Mr. Melaye, the Senator bragged that he had already spoken to the state governor, Prof. Ben Ayade.
In 2016, Justice Ikpeme dismissed a petition by Smart Adeyemi, Mr. Melaye’s opponent, in accordance to the plot to let Mr. Melaye off the hook at the election tribunal.
SaharaReporters contacted the spokesperson to the Cross Rivers state governor, Christian Ita who said they could only locate a family member of the Ikpeme’s who was already a civil servant in the state before Prof. Ayade became the state governor in 2015.
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