Dino Melaye And The Election Tribunal Judge Involved In Bribery Scandal
Akon Ikpeme, the Cross River State High Court judge involved in a scandalous bribery saga with Senator Daniel DiNO Melaye has authenticated the audiotape of her conversation with the legislator published by gbasibe.com.ng last week.
In it, the judge, who was adjudicating in his case following the 2015 election, is overhead asking for a bribe from Mr. Melaye in US dollars.
Justice Akon Ikpeme told an aide to President Muhammadu Buhari about her many encounters with Mr. Melaye, saying he tried reaching out to her after the scandal broke to encourage her to deny the existence of the conversation, promising to use his connections at the highest levels to erase the conversation and call logs from the archives of MTN and security agencies.
In the audio, Mr. Melaye also promised to assist one of Justice Ikpeme’s daughter to secure a job at the Ministry of health in Cross River. The judge did not disclose to the presidential aide how much she received from Mr. Melaye but admitted that the transactions happened more than twice.
In addition, several lawyers involved in the case have affirmed that the female voice on the recording was that of Justice Ikpeme who, they say, speaks exactly as captured on the tape.
The lawyers who acted for Dino Melaye in the case said that he stopped paying their fees after a while and began to sound over-confident about the case. They suspected his refusal to pay legal fees owed them was because he had bribed Justice Ikpeme and other judges involved in his case.
One of the lawyers, who didn’t want to be identified, said Mr. Melaye panicked when his opponent, Smart Adeyemi, suddenly procured the services of a legal titan, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), to defend the case against Mr. Melaye, who allegedly did not win the primaries to secure his party nomination as required by law.