Akwa Ibom PDP attacks Appeal panel over delay in judgement
The Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) Akwa Ibom State chapter, has frowned at the delay by the Court of Appeal panel in Calabar in delivering judgment on the National Assembly Elections appeal matters that were brought before it.
The state Publicity Secretary of PDP, Ini Ememobong, in a press conference in Uyo on Thursday also described as awkward the decision by the Court of Appeal panel to adjourn judgment after conclusion of hearings and adoption of briefs by parties, stressing that the court could only do so in exceptional cases which both parties must be informed, but that was not applicable in this case.
It was gathered that the judgment in the appeal filed by Bassey Etim, and Hon Emmanuel Ukoette of the All Progressives Congress challenging the tribunal verdict in favour of Senator Bassey Abbert and Unyie Idem of the Peoples Democratic Party, which was slated for Tuesday was adjourned without explanation.
But, the PDP irked by the actions of the Appeal Court, said it has invited the International Community, the National Judicial Council and the Civil Society groups to intervene in the matter
The statement issued to journalists reads in parts, “As a party and defendant in these matters, we find this situation very awkward and therefore invite the attention of the international community, the National Judicial Council, Chief Justice of Nigeria,civil society groups to the existing anomaly as regards these cases.
“It is trite in law that after the adoption of briefs by parties and a court adjourns for judgment. On the next adjourned date, it is obligatory for the court to deliver judgment on the matter, except where things arise that make it impossible for the judgment to be delivered.
“In such exceptional cases, all the parties must be informed of such supervening circumstances. In the instant case, there was no explanation whatsoever and there is till date, no explanation for the inability of the court to deliver judgment on these cases
“The Court of Appeal being a creation of law to protect and uphold the Democratic governance cannot become a vehicle for the subjugation of popular will freely manifested through the ballot.
“While our party and our candidates, who have transited into government functionaries are peace loving and law abiding citizens, we advice the various authorities adjudicating on election matters not to mistake our civility and respect for the rule of law, for ignorance or cowardice.
“We, therefore, demand that the judgement in the cases of Senator Bassey Albert, Hon. Unyime Idem and all other cases due for judgement be delivered without any further delay.
“ We urge the noble Justices of the Court of Appeal to do justice according to law and deliver justice, conscious that it is a sacred duty, which they took an oath to perform. They must do justice though the heavens fall (in our experience, we’ve noticed that the heavens have never fallen when justice is done).
“They should shun those who threaten them with victimization and lure them with speedy elevation to the apex bench. They should be circumspect of political turncoats and opportunists masquerading as statesmen and federal agents, who promise them favours that can rob the judiciary of its nobility.
“The Justices must remember their sacred roles as ministers in the temple of justice and avoid the shame that their compromise can bring to their name and the noble profession. They must realise that what money cannot do, more money will not do. Integrity cannot be bought with money, no matter the amount.”
Ememobong said the party was alarmed by the sudden celebration in social media by the APC media chiefs,whom he said have started rejoicing for securing a change in the panel and that the new panel would deliver judgment in their favour
“We are, therefore, very suspicious of this newfound jubilant mood which as conveyed by the opposition APC, is predicated on their report of a new panel by the court of Appeal whose mandate is to deliver judgment in favour of the APC.
“We need not emphasise that elections in the affected constituencies were won fair and square by Obong Bassey Albert, and Hon. Unyime Idems with APC candidates trailing miserably far behind,” he said.