Ibrahim Babajide Obanikoro
By Anayo Okolie
Chairmanship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ikoyi/Obalende Development Area (LCDA) in the October 22 local government area elections in Lagos, Ibrahim Babajide Obanikoro, has faulted the action of the Lagos State’s Appeal Court for not given any reason for the indefinite adjournment of the judgment slated last week.
Obanikoro, who condemned the action during a press briefing in Lagos recently alleged that the stolen mandate of October 22, 2011 election was returned by the election tribunal panel led by Justice Dolapo Akinsanya on October 4, 2012, which the ACN and its candidate Mr. Wale Adeniji, appealed.
The PDP chairmanship candidate stated that despite the fact that the court had adjourned to November 15, for the final argument and to announce date of judgment, he was, however, surprised when the secretary of the court announced an adjournment of the case sine die (meaning indefinitely) without any reason.
According to him, our investigation revealed that two petitions were filed against the judges, alleging bribery and corruption and questioning their integrity and we further learnt that one of the petitions was directed at the panel of five judges while the other was filed against the Chairman of the panel, Justice Oke.
While awaiting the receipt of the copy of the petition, Obanikoro said: “We reliably found out that one of the petition was written and submitted by one Mr. Rasaq Ogunseye, an ACN stalwart (Ikoyi Obalende Chairman). Mr. Rasaq Ogunseye, was Mr. Wale Adeniji’s collation agent for the LGA result collation on October 22, 2011 (election day).
He said: “It’s on record that Mr. Rasaq Ogunseye, was a witness during the tribunal proceeding and in his witness statement, he affirmed that he was the local government collation agent for Mr. Wale Adeniji, and that the results of the election were handed over to him but they were misplaced and could not be presented to the court.
“We are too familiar with ACN’s antics and pranks, we also know that they will go any length to steal and keep mandate but we are resolute that defenders of democracy, law and order will not allow this planned manipulation of the judiciary system via blackmailing, and false allegation of bribery and corruption.”
Speaking further, Obanikoro appealed to the Chief Justice of Lagos State, Justice O. Philips, to defend the judiciary system because any attempt to derail justice by either changing the judges or extend the duration would be an infringement to justice and an encouragement to lawlessness and abuse of law.
He noted that justice delayed was justice denied, adding that there was an urgent need for Philips to wade into the issue in order to defend and protect the image of the judiciary in the state and Nigeria at large.
While adding that there were processes and procedures of dealing with matters of accusation and petitions as laid down by the National Judiciary Council (NJC), Obanikoro said: “Twenty years ago, the military annulled an election which was adjudged to be the freest at that time in our chequered history.
The entire country was at standstill for almost seven years. To my greatest shock and surprise, it is those who benefited most from the fall out of the sad event that are at the center of annulment that took place at Ikoyi/Obalende on October 22, 2012 and are also trying hard to intimidate and coerce the judiciary into what will amount to travesty of justice.”