Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
A group of lawyers under the aegis of Bauchi Lawyers of Conscience (BOBALAC) Saturday promised to defend the state’s governor-elect, Senator Bala Mohammed with 50 counsels if the incumbent governor, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar eventually approached the election tribunal.
Likewise, the Igbo community in Bauchi State pledged unalloyed support to the incoming administration of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), describing his victory in the March 9 governorship election as well deserved.
The two groups made the remarks in separate statements in response to the plan by the incumbent governor to challenge Bala’s victory at the Bauchi Governorship Election Tribunal.
In its statement yesterday, the lawyers of conscience said the recent move by the APC to go to the tribunal and challenge the election was a double speak and a form of insincerity after conceding defeat and congratulated the governor-elect.
The statement, which was signed by the group’s Convener, Shipi Rabo and Secretary, Musa Abdullahi, said having initially conceded defeat and congratulated the governor-elect, Abubakar should have stuck to his words.
The statement said, “That is how statesmen behave. There are some issues to look at considering the hiring of four Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) by the national leadership of the APC as Abubakar recently instituted a legal action at an Abuja High Court in which the APC was the second Plaintiff.
“But apparently because the said suit has more to do with his interest than that of the APC or President Buhari, it is believed that, it was Abubakar and his clique that foot the bill of the counsel that handled the matter even as the said counsel who is a learned silk happens to be a personal friend of the governor and his former colleague at the INEC.”
As a group of lawyers, it added that its members “have no problem with Abubakar and the APC going to the tribunal to challenge the victory of the governor-elect.
“In fact, we welcome the development as it will afford us yet another opportunity to use our God-given skills to defend the people’s mandate as given to the governor-elect.
“In doing this, we convey our assurances to the governor-elect and indeed the people of Bauchi State that we are deploying the services of not less than 50 Counsels which include some very senior colleagues and successfully tested hands to compliment the efforts of the legal team to be assembled to defend the people’s mandate in terms of the impending election petition.”
In its own statement, the Igbo community said that the Igbos in Bauchi State voted massively for the PDP as this would be attested in all the polling units dominated by the Igbos.
The statement, which was signed by its President General, Mr. Dominic Nkwocha and the Secretary General Mr. Felix Onuorah, said the Igbo community disassociated itself from publications traced to the Igbo Political Awareness committee with caption the “Igbo in Bauchi Disown PDP Governorship candidate’s posters.”
It said, “We wish to set the record straight and state that the Igbo community in Bauchi State as well as its leadership did not at any time instruct Committee on Political Awareness to act on its behalf
“We wish to state that the above committee acted on their own as it was revealed that the committee members were not consulted before such publication hence could not be said to have emanated from the committee not to talk of the Igbo community.
“The swift reaction of the south east coalition for PDP on the March 7, 2019, barely a day was therefore in order as the Igbo Community being a pan social cultural group and nobody is permitted to talk on its behalf except the leadership.
“Against the above stated background, we hereby categorically and unequivocally disassociate the Igbo Community from the aforesaid publication as such publication was not made with the consultation and mandate of the leadership of the Igbo community,” the statement said.