By Lateef Ibrahim
The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) has demanded for the review and reversal of the Tuesday’s judgement of the Supreme Court which nullified the election of Hon. Emeka Ihedioha as the governor of Imo State and affirmed Senator Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as Governor.
Similarly, the PDP has called on the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Mohammed and his colleagues on the Imo Governorship Panel to recuse themselves from the remaining cases involving the party (PDP) in the Supreme Court.
The National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus made the demands at a world press conference he addressed yesterday in Abuja in company of all national officers of the party.
Secondus pointed out that in other to avoid an imminent breakdown of law and order, “the PDP demands that Justice Tanko Mohammed immediately steps down as CJN and chairman of the National Judicial Council” as Nigerians have lost confidence in him and a Supreme Court under his leadership.
The PDP National Chairman warned that the Supreme Court, under Justice Tanko Mohammed, shall be held responsible, if there is any breakdown of law and order in any state as a result of judgments “procured solely for political rather than judicial reasons as is currently happening”.
According to him, “in the light of extraordinary circumstances that vitiates that judgment as a product manipulation and a clear coup d’etat against the will of the people of Imo State, we demand that the decision of the Supreme Court on the Imo Governorship Election be reviewed and reversed in the interest of justice.
“Furthermore we demand that Justice Tanko Mohammed, the CJN and his colleagues on the Imo Governorship Panel recuse themselves from the remaining cases involving PDP in the Supreme Court.
“We state for the records that the Supreme Court under Justice Tanko Mohammed shall be held responsible if there is any breakdown of law and order in any state as a result of judgments procured solely for political rather than judicial reasons as is currently happening”, he said.
The National Chairman of the leading opposition party pointed out that with
the verdict, the Supreme Court has executed a coup against the PDP and the people of Imo state as well as other Nigerians, and such must not be allowed to have a place in our democracy.
The PDP declared that Justice Tanko must not head the panel to determine the remaining election petitions before the Supreme Court.
Secondus, in his speech at the press conference, said, “The National Working Committee of our great party, after a thorough examination of all the issues relating to the miscarriage of justice by the Supreme Court on the Imo state governorship election petition, and after a very extensive consultation, resolves as follows:
*That the Supreme Court, as presently constituted under Justice Mohammed Tanko, has become heavily compromised; lost its credibility and is now annexed to execute ignoble agenda of the APC-led Federal Government against the Nigerian people.
*That the judgment of the Supreme Court voiding the lawful election of Hon. Emeka Ihedioha (who scored 276,404 votes) and awarding fictitious votes to declare Hope Uzodimma of the APC, who scored 96, 458 votes as governor of Imo state, is highly irrational, unfounded, a provocative product of executive manipulation and a recipe for crisis, which should not be allowed to stand.
*With the verdict, the Supreme Court executed a coup against the PDP and the people of Imo state as well as other Nigerians, and such must not be allowed to have a place in our democracy”, he stressed.
Secondus, who recalled that the Supreme Court, in a host of cases, the latest and most celebrated being Atiku V Buhari & Ors, consistently decided that for a petitioner to succeed in an allegation of infraction of any provision of the Electoral Act especially one complaining about malpractice, as in this case, wrongful exclusion of votes, the petitioner must call witnesses polling unit by polling unit, said
therefore that the questions Justice Tanko’s Supreme Court must answer are:
*How many witnesses did Uzodinma/APC call from the 388 polling units from where the Supreme Court allocated votes to him.
*Does the Supreme Court have powers to formulate and allocate votes as election results?
*Were the said results certified by INEC as required by law?
*Did Hope Uzodinma call 388 witnesses from the 388 polling units to speak to the results to obviate the principle of dumping which the Supreme Court used against the PDP and her candidate, Atiku Abubarka, in the last Presidential Appeal?
*Were the presiding officers and or party agents of the 388 polling units called to testify by Uzodinma/APC, who were the Petitioners?
*What are the figures from each of the various 388 polling units generated and allocated to Hope Uzodinma/APC by the Supreme Court?
*Is the Supreme Court saying that all the votes from the alleged 388 polling units were for the APC alone in an election that was contested by over 70 candidates?
The PDP claimed that it had intelligence before the verdict on the Imo governorship that the hierarchy of APC had decided that they must use the Supreme Court to capture the states won and controlled by the PDP such as Imo, Sokoto, Bauchi, Adamawa and Benue.
It thus asked: Can the PDP rightly trust the impartiality and independence of the panel headed by Justice Tanko Mohammed, the CJN, to adjudicate on the remaining cases involving the PDP like Kano, Sokoto, Benue, Bauchi, Adamawa, Plateau and others?
Is the same fate awaiting the Governors of these states that are controlled by the PDP and other states like Kano where the PDP clearly won and was robbed?
Should Justice Tanko Mohammed and his colleagues on the Imo Governorship Panel not recuse themselves from the remaining cases involving PDP?
The PDP firmly held that if the flawed judgment of the Supreme Court on Imo governorship election is allowed to stand, it would be a recipe for anarchy, chaos and constitutional crisis not only in Imo state but in the entire country.
Continuing, Secondus said, “Our party has it in good authority that Justice Tanko and his panel are working on instruction from certain forces in the Presidency to use the Supreme Court to take over states lawfully won by the PDP and award them to the APC.
“The PDP therefore advises Justice Tanko not to allow himself to be used to push our nation to the path of anarchy and constitutional crisis as any further attempt to subvert justice in the pending petitions on Sokoto, Bauchi, Benue, Adamawa as well as Kano and Plateau states will be firmly and vehemently resisted”, it said.