An All Progressives Congress, APC Chieftain in Abia, Mr Austin Okezie has accused the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP of engaging in falsehood in argument for a review of the Supreme Court judgment that led to the removal of Emeka Ihedioha as the governor of Imo State.
According to him, PDP is presenting the issues involved in the apex court’s verdict wrongly, possibly deliberately, in order to mislead some Nigerians into believing that the Supreme Court erred in that judgment
Okezie was reacting to assertions by the PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, that the party, after extensive consultations with legal experts, had decided to back Ihedioha, as he returns to the Supreme Court to seek a review and possible reversal of the Jan. 14 judgment.
The court had declared Sen. Hope Uzodinma as the rightful winner of the state governorship election held on March 9, 2019.
But the APC chieftain said Ihedioha and his team of lawyers ought to have known that the Supreme Court was in order in its judgment, going by available evidence before it.
The politician said in a statement in Lagos that such an application would amount to a mockery of the judicial system.
He also pointed out some of the misconceptions being peddled about the judgment: “In so many quarters, it is being erroneously reported, among others, that it was only a police officer, as a witness, who presented the 388 results as evidence at the tribunal.
“A deviation from the Electoral Act which holds that results/evidence ought to be presented by either an INEC personnel or an agent of the party at the election.
“However, this narrative is not true because at the Imo State tribunal, duplicates of the 388 results were originally presented by various APC agents called by Sen. Hope as witnesses,’’ he said.
The politician said that the police officer only appeared to corroborate the initial evidence presented by the various party agents.
“Besides, the 388 polling units’ results in question were duly certified by INEC, so why wouldn’t they be accepted as valid evidence?
“It is hypocritical for PDP as a party to start inciting gullible Nigerians into condemning this impeccable judgment by the Supreme Court, insinuating that the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Mr Mohammed Tanko was favourable to APC.
“As a matter of fact, it was this same CJN who led the five-man team of Supreme Court justices that sacked the duly elected APC persons in Zamfara and replaced them with their PDP counterpart.
“This same Justice Tanko was also the CJN when the Supreme Court disqualified all the APC candidates from participating in Rivers State election in 2019, thereby giving PDP a very smooth and unopposed ride,’’ he said.
Okezie, an APC House of Assembly candidate for Umuahia East seat in the Abia House of Assembly during the 2019 election, described the purported move as an insult to majority of Nigerians.
Okezie noted that just last week, this same Supreme Court under Tanko as CJN ruled to affirm the election of Sokoto PDP governor (Tambuwal), who won the APC governorship candidate with less than a meagre 350 votes, while the cancelled votes stood at over 30,000.
“In all these, APC took the outcome with maturity, believing that the Supreme Court as the highest arbiter in Nigeria must have acted in consonance with the law.
“If all these have happened, why should Ihedioha and his allies in PDP want to deceive some Nigerians into believing that the CJN and the Supreme Court gave the Imo State judgment because they were always against the PDP and in favour of APC?
“This fact was said to have been reaffirmed by late Justice Chukwudifu Oputa of blessed memory.
“So, purportedly calling on the international community to condemn the judgment of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and have them review and reverse same in favour of PDP is the height of irresponsibility, with a tendency to rubbish our judicial system,’’ he said.
He added that because, if the so called review is entertained, then every other person who loses at the Supreme Court must have one or two reasons to apply for a reversal.
“So, Ihedioha and his allies in PDP should simply do Nigerians a favour by refraining from this trending noise, and allow the duly elected Uzodinma to concentrate on the job of developing the state.