Imo Judgment: PDP asks CJN Tanko to step down, demands review

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Nigeria’s main opposition party, PDP, has called for the immediate review and reversal of the decision of the Supreme Court on the Imo State governorship tussle.

The party made this known on Wednesday at a press conference at the party’s secretariat in Abuja.

Addressing journalists, the party’s national chairman, Uche Secondus, said this would be in the interest of justice.

The Supreme Court had on Tuesday nullified the election of Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party as the governor of Imo State.

The apex court declared Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressive Congress (APC) as the winner of the March 9 governorship election in the state.

Mr Uzodinma originally came fourth in the election while Uche Nwosu of the Action Alliance (AA) and Ifeanyi Ararume of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) came second and third respectively.

The seven-member panel of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Tanko Muhammad gave the unanimous decision on Tuesday in Abuja.

MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE?

Mr Secondus while delivering the position of the National Working Committee (NWC) said after a thorough examination of all the issues relating to what he described as miscarriage of justice by the Supreme Court, the party resolved that the apex 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.”

Mr Secondus further stated that the chief justice must provide Nigerians with answers to some pertinent questions.

He said 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.

“The question is, how many witnesses did Uzodinma/APC call from the 388 polling units from where the Supreme Court allocated votes to him?” Mr Secondus asked.

He further stated that the so called results from the 388 lolling units were rightfully rejected, in line with several decisions of the Supreme Court, by the Tribunal and Court of Appeal as it was merely dumped on the tribunal in a Ghana Must Go bag, by a policeman who had no mandate of the police to testify at the tribunal.

“The Tribunal did not even open the Ghana Must Go bags as there was no basis to do so. It is one of the great wonders of the world how the Supreme Court opened the bag, counted the results and added them to only the APC Candidate.”

“What is more perplexing is the fact that INEC produced a schedule of reasons why results were not produced from the 388 units.”

“Indeed election did not even take place in most of the units for one reason or another, like violence, etc and so no result could possibly be obtained from those units. The results were not merely rejected or cancelled by INEC.”

“None of the candidates or their counsel, except perhaps APC, as we speak, are aware of the number of votes scored by each party from the 388 polling units. The Tribunal or Court of Appeal did not mention or ascribe any figure from the units to any party in their decisions.”

“In fact, in the cross examination of the APC Candidate, Sen. Hope Uzodinma, he could not read any figure from the “Oluwole” results. He said that the figures were not clear. And so it beats our imagination where the Supreme Court conjured and manufactured the figures it used in declaring Uzodinma/APC as duly elected.”

“But the law is settled as decided by the same Supreme Court in Buhari v. INEC (2008); that “weight can hardly be attached to a document tendered in evidence by a witness who cannot or is not in a position to answer questions on the document. One of such persons the law identifies is the one who did not make the document. Such a person is adjudged in the eyes of the law as ignorant of the content of the document”.

The party also said it wondered how the APC couldn’t win at least a seat of the state house of assembly which was held on the same day as the governorship.

“As already known, there was only one accreditation for the 2 elections. The APC did not win any of the 27 seats in the Imo State House of Assembly.”

“The above further questions and confronts the rationale for the judgment of the Supreme Court on Imo State.”

“How then did the Supreme Court arrive at its decision to allocate results to void a lawful governorship election and imposed an unelected person as governor?”

“The fact is that, the Supreme Court, as presently constituted under Justice Tanko, has lost its credibility and no longer commands the respect and confidence of Nigerians.”

“If the people no longer repose confidence in the Supreme Court, then our democracy, national cohesion and stability are at great risk.”

The PDP also stated 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.

“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.”

“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.”

“Justice Tanko must not head the panel to determine the remaining election petitions before the Supreme Court.”

“In the light of extraordinary circumstances that vitiates that judgment as a product of 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.”

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