Rivers: PDP Seeks NJC, CJN’s Intervention | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Rivers: PDP Seeks NJC, CJN’s Intervention

Posted: Oct 29, 2015 at 8:24 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

THE Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has approached the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, praying him to intervene in what it described as “present and imminent miscarriage of justice” with regard to elections in Rivers State.

PDP-APC-logoThis came as Rivers State chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, accused the state governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike and PDP of blackmailing the judiciary to get favourable judgement at the Appeal Court

Similarly, the CJN warned politicians, especially heads of government, to refrain from disparaging the integrity and reputation of the Judiciary.

PDP, by a letter forwarded to the CJN through its lawyer, Chief Godwin Obla, SAN, alleged that it had been denied access to the Certified True Copy, CTC, of judgments of the National and State Election Petition tribunals that sat in Abuja and annulled the victory of some of its candidates in the state.

The   letter dated  October 28, 2015, was equally copied to the National Judicial Council, NJC.

Specifically, PDP, sought the intervention of the CJN in respect of the CTC of the judgement in the case between Mr. Wali Belief Azeru vs. Michael Okechukwu Chinda and Dr. Otogwung Dressman vs. INEC and others.

The letter by PDP read: “While we appreciate the peculiar demand of time that may have necessitated such near crippling judicial adventure having to deliver a total of 12 judgments within a space of six hours in a day, it is, however, utterly worrisome that the judgments as pronounced in the open tribunal on the said October 26, 2015, in respect of the two reference petitions above merely pronounced on the award of reliefs without any allusion as to the requisite decision and judicial reasons thereof.

“While one may reasonably attribute the tribunal recourse to such brevity to the exigency of time, it however, falls grossly short of legal requirements mandating the court or tribunal to clearly state the legal principle and decision arrived therefrom upon which the judgment is based, just as it is applicable to the hierarchy of courts where such mode of judgment is countenanced by law, i.e, at the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

“Our worry over the above became more heightened when upon our written application to the tribunal for the CTC of the judgment or in the alternative, a CTC of the hand written judgment to be made available to us, to enable us decide on the required step as promptly as possible, in view of the limited time frame for any subsequent step to challenge the judgment, same was bluntly turned down by the registry of the tribunal as it questioned the visibility of acceding to the grant of the CTC of a document it has no access to even as it also equally raised the issue of directive to the tribunal in the open court that no such request could be acceded until three days after the judgement.”

But Rivers State chapter of APC berated the PDP and Governor Nyesom Wike, for allegedly  blackmailing the judiciary to get favourable judgment at the Appeal Court.

APC claimed that Wike’s decision to take on the judges was to soften and blackmail the eminent men and women of the bench to give him a favourable ruling against the judgment that nullified his election last Saturday.

The party, in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr Chris Finebone, claimed the embattled governor had thrown all caution to the wind by taking on the likes of Justice Mohammed Ambrosa, through direct comments by his media aides and indirectly through faceless and dubious online publications.

The APC statement said: “The PDP, through one of the online publications called www.trentonline.com published a fake story titled, DSS Offered Bribe, Threatened Me, Then I Was Sacked From Rivers Tribunal – Justice Pindiga. This fake news story was designed to give credence to the accusation by Wike when his spokesman, Opunabo Inko-Tariah, stated that the Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal chaired by Justice Mohammed Ambrosa, had given the ruling he was asked to give.” The online medium also reported that Justice Pindiga said that the DSS threatened him leading to his sudden replacement as the Chairman of the Rivers State Election Petition Tribunal by Justice Mohammed Ambrosa. The APC notes with relief that Justice Muazu Pindiga has since denied making any such statement or granting any interviews whatsoever to anyone as published.

“Following the decision of the Supreme Court in dismissing Wike’s appeal  on jurisdiction on Tuesday, Governor Wike has unleashed further virulent attacks on the eminent jurists of the apex court when he stated the following through his media adviser, Opunabo Inko-Tariah: “What is going on right now can best be described as judicial gang-up against Governor Wike, nay the people of Rivers State. It is an affront on democracy and a blight disregard for the will of the people in the April 11 general elections. The courts are setting pernicious precedents by hinging their verdicts on inane points. Rivers people overwhelmingly gave their mandate to Governor Wike but a microscopic few want to wrest that mandate from him through the back door.”

APC is curious about the reasoning behind the fact that the judicial system Nyesom Wike is busy denigrating is the same system he hopes to approach for appeal. We doubt what other motive would be behind it other than the usual blackmail and arm-twisting jungle tactic of the PDP band of betrayers and opportunists”

Meanwhile, the CJN, through a statement by his media aide, Mr. Ahuraka Isah, stressed that the warning was against the backdrop of reactions to outcomes of some governorship, National and State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal matters in the country where some politically exposed persons, state governors and even lawyers to some litigants, averred that the verdicts were influenced by money and political pressure.