Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Young Progressive Party (YPP) has expressed concern over alleged sudden recomposition of the Court of Appeal panel scheduled to hear the senatorial election appeal in respect of the Anambra South Senatorial district.
The party said the sudden and secret manner in which the change in the membership of the panel was done had given room for suspicion over the actual motive.
The appeal which is scheduled to hold in Enugu is between two brothers-Chris Uba of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Andy Uba of the All Progressive Party (APC)- and the Young Peoples Party (YPP) candidate, Senator Ifeanyi Uba.
National Chairman of YPP, Comrade Bishop Amakiri said
The party was surprised when the appeal earlier fixed for October 22 was suddenly called off on the eve of the scheduled date.
He said its suspicion came when its lawyers said they were informed that a special panel of Justices of the Court of Appeal would be constituted to handle the case.
Lawyers in the matter had to immediately rush down to Enugu from various parts of the country ahead of the hearing.
“However, at about 4pm on the said 21st of October 2019, our lawyers were informed that the hearing of the appeals had been called off and that a special panel of justices of the Court of Appeal would be constituted by the Honourable President of the Court of Appeal,” he disclosed.
According to him, the regular panel of the Court of Appeal, Enugu was the one that heard the appeal between Senator Victor Umeh of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and Senator Uche Ekwunife of PDP, on Anambra Central senatorial election.
He stated that the YPP had made efforts to inquire into the rationale for the abrupt change of the panel of the Court of Appeal hearing the matter but to no avail.
“We have also made efforts to find out the new composition of the panel of the Court of Appeal that are being sent to hear the appeals to no avail.
“Our party believes that the composition of courts is fundamental to the impartiality of the court and whilst our party has implicit confidence in the judiciary including the Court of Appeal, we believe that there should be explanations for the changes in the composition of the panel of the Court of Appeal Enugu.
“In addition, we request for a full disclosure of the composition of the special panel of the Court of Appeal that has been constituted for the hearing of the appeals.
“Our position is pertinent particularly in view of rumours and boasts by the supporters of the appellant that the changes in the panel of the Court of Appeal is aimed at achieving a pre-determined objective to the detriment of our party and its candidate, Senator Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah.
“We insist that the rule of law must prevail. It is our fervent expectation that the judiciary, which is the last hope of the common man and the bastion of democracy will stand firm and courageous when democratic institutions are on the verge of being abused,” Amakiri further demanded.