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.
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.
Our investigation reveals that Justice Ikpeme is married to a Cross River medical doctor. She is reportedly number 3 in the hierarchy of the Cross Rivers judiciary.
Saharareporters could not confirm if Mrs. Ikpeme’s daughter got a job with the Cross Rivers 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.
FULL TRANSCRIPT BELOW:
Judge: Distinguished good afternoon.
The —- of law
How are you?
Dino: I’m here as you see me o?
Judge: I can’t hear you
Dino: I said you have refused to come o
Judge: I will come
Dino: I hope rapture will not take place before you come
( both laughs)
Judge: I will come when there’s opportunity
Dino: I just spoke with err Prof now
Dino: So he said if she is ready to start without pay, that she can come and see him and start immediately, because the present set now will finish by the end of this first quarter that’s March, that’s when they are taking in the next set, but if she want to start without pay that i should give her a note to come and she could start immediately
Judge: And then after March she will start getting pay
Dino: Definitely yes
after he said when the sch….. after the first quarter
so if you discuss with her then err whatever she preferred
he said i should just give her a note to come
Judge: Let me discuss with her at least you can er send a note to her email it to her if she’s available
Dino: ok alright
Judge: but let me discuss with her
Judge: thank you very much
Dino: alright no problem
Dino: Hello… M’Lord …. get out of the chambers
Judge: Okay… I wanted to let you know that I am back (in my state)
Dino: Oh… great, great, great, great. We are going to the UK tonight … errrm… I am presently with the senate president. We are back on Monday
Dino: So, I will look for a day during the week so I will just keep talking to you, once I return I will come
Judge: I wanted to tell you that whatever you want to do, make it in eeee USA
Dino: Of course, of course, of course, of course, of course, no problem madam, no problem. My sister, I have given the perm sec, they will reach her, (something else)
Judge: I wanted to ask because…
Dino: I have given it to the perm sec so they will definitely reach her. I will call him again as soon as I come back so they can invite her
Dino: No problem ma. Thank you ma
Judge: Safe journey
Dino: Alright, God bless you.
Judge: Keep reminding the perm sec …