Election Petition tribunals were directed to nullify the election of all south -south states governors, starting with Rivers and Akwa Ibom States, Elombah.com has learnt.
A total of 23 billion was paid to the tribunal judges by APC in collaboration with the presidency to influence tribunals to annul Rivers, Akwa Ibom elections.
“They are to pass the order that the election did not comply substantially with election guidelines and order INEC to conduct election within 90 days”, a source said.
Impeccable sources confirm to Elombah.com there exists a conspiracy between the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government and a section of the judiciary to “capture” as much south south states as possible to the APC fold.
Recall that the Rivers State Tribunal sitting in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, Saturday removed the governor, Nyesom Wike and ordered fresh elections in the state.
The judgment of the Tribunal reads in part: “We hereby order INEC to conduct fresh elections.
In Akwa Ibom State, the election petition tribunal ordered a rerun In 18 LGA Out Of 31 GAs of the State but did not nullify the victory of Gov. Udom Emmanuel.
“The desperation to take over the South-south states of Rivers and Akwa Ibom through the backdoor by President Muhammadu Buhari and his APC, is in preparation for 2019″, the source further said adding that the South east states are not bothered with because PDP actually enjoy overwhelming support in those states and the Buhari led government has written off Igbo support in strategising for 2019.
“Moreover, the Delta states are very rich compared to Igbo states and is expected to provide the funds necessary for PDP election campaigns towards 2019 if not checked”, the source further said.
Reacting to the Rivers Tribunal Judgement, PDP in a statement made available to Elombah.com and dated 24th October 2015 said “the desperation so far exhibited by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC government in manipulating sensitive agencies of state like the judiciary and the security to further its bid to take over the rich states of Rivers, Akwa-Ibom and Delta is totally against the spirit of democracy and peace bestowed by the PDP in conceding defeat at the Presidential election, but instead, an affront to the people and recipe for crisis in the polity.”
The party maintained that the prejudiced rulings by the Rivers and Akwa-Ibom states governorship elections tribunals, with their inherent contradictions, were a direct fallout of interferences from the APC and some elements within the office of the President of the Court of Appeal, adding that they should be held responsible should there be any break down of law and order in the system.
Also speaking to Elombah.com on why he is appealing the Tribunal verdict in Rivers State, Governor Nyesom Wike queried “How can a party win all Senate seats, all house of Representatives seats, all state Assembly, 97% votes in presidential election and they could tell the public that the party did not win the governorship.”
“Keep calm, we must appeal”, Wike insisted.
In the Press Statement, titled ‘Rivers, Akwa-Ibom Tribunal Judgments Cannot Stand‘, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) declared the verdict of the River state governorship election tribunal sitting in Abuja, which showed clear bias against Governor Nyesom Wike and the PDP, as completely bizarre, unacceptable and part of the script by the APC to manipulate the will of the people.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in a statement on Saturday said indications to this spurious judgment had months ago been hinted to the PDP, which in turn, alerted the nation and the international community of the heinous plot by the APC government, to use the judiciary and various security agencies to reverse the victory of the PDP in Rivers, Delta, Akwa-Ibom, Taraba and Abia states.
“We invite Nigerians and the international community to recall various reprehensible steps taken by the APC government that culminated in this ruling as well as the ridiculous Wednesday’s verdict of the Akwa-Ibom state governorship election tribunal, also sitting in Abuja.
1. The curious and controversial relocation of the elections tribunals from their states to Abuja without any justification.
2. The constant juggling of judicial officers and members of governorship elections tribunal in PDP states, especially, Rivers and Akwa-Ibom states.
3. Constant harassment of judicial and electoral officers involved in the governorship election cases in these state, using agencies of government, particularly, the Directorate of State Services (DSS) under the direct command of a known APC member, Alhaji Lawal Daura.
4. Constant threats, intimidation and coercing of witnesses against the PDP in the tribunals.
5. The recent mass transfer of security operatives, especially the DSS and police personnel that actually participated in the conduct of the elections in Rivers and Akwa-Ibom, ostensibly to frustrate the course of genuine evidences in the process.
“The bias in the judgment against the PDP in Rivers as well as Akwa-Ibom is evidenced in the contradictions inherent in the trial process of the two cases and the verdicts therein, whereby the tribunals clearly disregarded standing legal norm that a petitioner must establish prove of claims.
“Also curious is the fact that after both the petitioner and respondent agreed before the tribunal that both card reader and manual accreditations were used for the election, the tribunal still went ahead to base its decision on issues of card reader.
While it is convenient to them to use legal technicalities to deny PDP victory in Imo, Lagos, Ogun and Yobe states, the same rules are misapplied to wickedly favour APC petitioners in Rivers and Akwa-Ibom states.
“It is therefore evinced that these contradictions are direct fall-out of compromises as well as boasts by the APC of being in direct and remote control of the tribunals. If not, how can one explain the fact that while governorship elections are being upturned in PDP states, in APC states, where similar claims and facts are in contention, elections are being upheld.
“Further proof of bias by the Rivers tribunal is the fact that less than 24 hours after various counsels submitted nine written addresses and documents, the tribunal rushed its notice of judgment, an action ostensibly aimed at ambushing the pending Supreme Court action on the issue of jurisdiction regarding the relocation of the tribunal outside River state, which was due to be delivered on Tuesday.
“This is not withstanding the fact that the tribunal has up to seven days after of receipt of addresses, to deliver its judgment, but chose instead, to rush to deliver this spurious verdict even on a Saturday, a development eliciting suspicion that the judgment may have since been predetermined and written even before the commencement of the case.
“The PDP calls on all Nigerians and the international community to note this growing manipulation of the judiciary by the APC government, a factor which portends great danger to our democracy and the stability of our country.
“Nigerians would want to recall that under the PDP-led government with former President Goodluck Jonathan’s commitment to the tenets of democracy as encapsulated in the safeguard of ‘one man one vote’ and the independence of the judiciary, the PDP conceded electoral defeat in Edo, Anambra, and Imo states without attempting to collect victory through executive manipulation of the judicial process.
“The PDP restates unequivocally that this judgments must not stand in view of the prevailing inherent contradictions, in addition to the huge threat they portend to our democracy and national stability.
“Finally, the PDP charges all lovers of democracy, particularly our members in Rivers and Akwa-Ibom state not to be daunted, as these judgments will not stand the test of the law and the will of the people. We therefore reassure that the PDP will do all within the ambit of the law to resist this criminal attempt by the APC to steal and thwart the will of the people.
In another press release Signed by Chief Olisa Metuh, [pictured] National Publicity Secretary, and dated October 25, 2015 and titled ‘Rivers, Akwa-Ibom: PDP Raises Rallying Cry….Says President Buhari Not Equipped To Lead In A Democracy’, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) raises a rallying cry to all its members, supporters and lovers of democracy across the country to rise up and use all lawful means to resist anti-democratic forces, now using the judiciary and security agencies in their desperate scheme to subvert the will of the people and destroy the nation’s democracy.
The party said though it seeks peace, it is not ready to accept the peace of a graveyard, neither is it willing to surrender the mandate freely given to it by the people in any part of the country, particularly in Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Delta, Abia, Taraba and other states where it won in the last general elections.
“Let it be known, and clearly too, that no matter the strong-arming, threats and manipulations by the APC government, the PDP is not willing to, and will never surrender the mandate freely given to us by the people in states where we won in the last general elections, neither are the people of those states willing to allow sectional invaders to exert influence on those to be in charge of their affairs” the party said in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh on Sunday.
It also strongly cautioned against any interference in the Rivers and Akwa-Ibom cases at the appeal level as well as any further intrusion in the Abia, Taraba and Delta governorship election tribunals, which the APC is already boasting of controlling. The PDP said such would be a clear invitation to chaos in the land.
“In the last five months, after conceding defeat at the Presidential elections and other polls where we lost, Nigerians are witnesses to the fact that the PDP has remained calm and steadfast to its commitment to providing mature, decent and civil opposition with more interest on the peace, unity and corporate interest of our dear nation.
“However, the ruling party and the APC Federal Government in their dictatorial inclinations are much more interested in playing crude, selfish and sectional politics and trying to use manipulation of judicial processes to forcefully take over states where we genuinely won in the elections.
“Nigerians have noted APC’s definition of credible elections wherein governorship elections in Imo, Ogun, Plateau, Lagos and Yobe are all credible while those of Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Delta, Taraba and Abia are rigged and must by all means be annulled.
“In the light of the foregoing therefore, leaders of the PDP across the country are now converging on a consensus not to surrender our national destiny and fate to the whims and caprices of the sectional interests of the Daura and Bourdillon Mafia.
“We want all to know that this party is able, willing and now ready to call up our members and supporters to use all means within the limits provided by the laws of the land to resist this evil plan to decimate the PDP and opposition. The peace we seek is not that of a graveyard, it is such as guaranteed by a well-recognized democratic system that treats all as equals before the law, irrespective of partisan and political affiliations.
“We hereby raise a rallying cry to all our members and supporters of PDP nationwide, all patriotic citizens and all lovers of democracy to join the PDP in this fight to save our nation from the hands of the lying, deceitful and false prophets, who are bent on parading themselves as cruel conquerors of our democracy.
“Furthermore, we request the international community to note that never in the history of our democracy has the nation witnessed such a divisive and anti-people government, whose actions have so polarized the polity, and undermined national unity and cohesion, a development that spells doom for our democracy, if not checked.
“We are therefore duty bound to counsel President Muhammadu Buhari to be cautious of tendencies that provide avenues for the destruction of the nation’s democracy, which he is a huge beneficiary of.
“In the same vein, we call on the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed to note the looming danger and save the nation’s democracy and the institution of the judiciary by immediately checking negative actions emanating from elements operating within the office of the President of the Court of Appeal.
“Finally, it has become necessary to remind all that this democracy was built on the principle of the rule of law and no political party, individual or group must be allowed to, by any means, appropriate or attempt to appropriate the will of the people at any time and under any guise whatsoever.”