Okon Bassey in Uyo
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State has asked members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state not to blame the tribunals over their failure to obtain judicial victory in some of the cases which judgement had been delivered by the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in the state.
The State Publicity of the PDP, Comrade Ini Ememobong at a press briefing held in Uyo, said if APC had issue against the judges of the tribunal they should direct their petition to the National Judicial Council (NJC).
“We challenge them, like we have done severally, to produce any thread of evidence, against the judges, apart from the habitual blackmail occasioned by a warped thought process inherent in their party.
“Tribunal judge cannot be held responsible for the way the APC cases went, especially considering the fact that they had known ab initio that they had no case, but only approached the tribunal as a face-saving mechanism, while earnestly seeking for federal appointments.
“How else can you describe people who protested the location of the Tribunal before the tribunal was even constituted? Since then, they have been shouting to high Heaven over non-existent issues.
“When the tribunal started, they filed processes that were manifestly and incurably defective. Now that the natural consequences of their actions have manifested, instead of taking a sincere introspection, they have decided to apply their stock in trade – pass the buck.
“I am of the firm view that enough materials have not been placed before this court to show that the Presiding Justice of this panel is likely to be biased against the petitioners/applicants in the hearing and determination of the petition.
“I am of the view that the fact that the Honourable President of this court is the wife of Honourable Adamu Mohammed Bulkachuwa and the mother of Aliyu Haidir Abubakar are not weighty enough to impute likelihood of bias against the President of the Court of Appeal.
“The two of them are not parties to the petition before us, and have not shown to be listed as witnesses of the 3rd respondent (the APC) in the petition before us…There is no allegation made against the spouse or the son of the Honourable President of this court in the petition of the petitioners/applicants…” the PDP stated.
Referring to Wednesday judgement on Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District which the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio lost to former Deputy Governor of the State, Senator Chris Ekpenyong, the PDP said that the majority judgement of the tribunal was a soothing balm to the people of the senatorial district who massively rejected him at the polls.
“They ensured that he lost convincingly in eight LGAs, had a slim victory in one. He supervised a reign of terror and harassment against his people in Essien Udim but still could not get a result to fertilize his ill-fated return to the senate.
“The judgement is therefore a confirmation of the sanctity of the ballot and the tribunal must be commended for their integrity and resoluteness.
“They stood against financial inducement, intimidation and blackmail to deliver a majority judgement that is firmly rooted in Law and reflective of the socio-political temperature of the Senatorial District.
“The world can only imagine the pressure that the tribunal would have come under from the National Comedian and ignoble proponent of “what money cannot do, more money can do”. Truly, God has shown himself mightier than men, who think themselves powerful.
Ememobong added that recent statement by the APC that “the President Muhammad Buhari, the National chairman APC and other stakeholders of the ruling party should not sit back to watch this injustice done yet again to the APC family in Akwa Ibom State”, was a call for extra judicial intervention.
We wish to remind the APC, especially their youths who recently through their State Youth Leader, issued a press statement demanding among other things that Ememobong noted that recent statement by the APC that “the President Muhammad Buhari, the National chairman APC and other stakeholders of the ruling party should not sit back to watch this injustice done yet again to the APC family in Akwa Ibom State”, was a call for extra judicial intervention.