The President, Rivers Leadership Advancement Foundation (RIVLEAF), Chief Alex Wele, has described Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, as someone who always upholds the integrity of the judiciary.
Wele, in a statement, said anything to the contrary amounts to painting Peterside in bad light.
A group known as Freedom House accused Peterside of only upholding the integrity of the courts when it suited him.
But RIVLEAF said: â€œWe read with utter dismay and shock statements credited to one Freedom House, ostensibly acting and representing the interest of a senator wherein they embarked on half-truths and outright lies all in an effort to paint the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Chibuike Amaechi and Peterside in bad light.
â€œBut for the reason that the so-called Freedom House had chosen to dance naked and point an accusing finger at both Amaechi and Peterside, one would ordinarily have ignored them as those who are suffering from identity crisis and lacking a sense of responsibility.
â€œThe truth of the matter is that Peterside appeared on a live radio programme, Rhythmâ€™s 93.7FM View Point in Port Harcourt, Rivers State and talked about many issues including events that led to the May 5, 2018 ward congress of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
â€œIt is worth stating that some persons claiming to be members of APC had gone to court, submitting that they were denied opportunity to purchase nomination forms for the ward congress and therefore wanted the local government congress scheduled for May 12 suspended pending the determination of their reliefs in court. On Friday, May 11, barely 24 hours before the local government congress, a Port Harcourt High Court was said to have granted an order stopping the congress from holding.â€
The group continued: â€œThroughout Friday evening, no one saw a copy of the court order, prompting many people to doubt the authenticity of the said ruling.
â€œIt was against this background that Peterside appeared on the live radio programme on Saturday morning from 8.15am-10am. Throughout the programme, he repeatedly stated that the party leadership at both state and national levels had not seen the court order and as such the congress would go ahead until there is a contrary directive from the party. It is sheer mischief to twist the fact and say he said the court order will not be obeyed without attaching a reason to it.â€
He added: â€œIt is also worthy to note that following a directive from the national secretariat of the party, the May 5th ward congress was cancelled and fresh ones ordered. As a loyal party member, Peterside joined others to participate in the newly ordered ward, local government and state congresses of the party, which took place from May 19-21, 2018.
â€œPeterside never issued any threat and so could not have disobeyed a court order that was not served on him. Congresses were conducted strictly in compliance with the directive of the national office of the party.
â€œIn all of these, Peterside, as a loyal and responsible member of the APC followed the partyâ€™s directive and participated in the all newly ordered congresses. He never acted on his own and had no reason to act on his own.
â€œBoth Peterside and Rivers chapter of APC complied strictly with the directives of the national office of the party which had the sole responsibility to fix congresses with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) observing. The national office of the party fixed the rescheduled congresses and, INEC and other relevant institutions were properly communicated.
â€œIt is therefore simply unimaginable and ridiculous that the so-called Freedom House would attempt to link Dr Dakuku Peterside to actions that tend to denigrate and disparage the court or try to portray him as a violent person.â€