…rejects Josephine Coker-led panel
By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA – The Allied Peoples’ Movement, APM, Monday described as unfortunate the disbandment of the Ogun state governorship election petition panel saying the development has no justification in law.
The party said the disbandment of the panellists led by Justice C.O. Onyeabo was informed by their resolve not to do the bidding of former Lagos state governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress, APC, “especially those who are trying to influence them to truncate justice at the ongoing tribunal.
Addressing a press conference at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja on Monday, APM national chairman, Alhaji Yusuf Mamman Dantalle that the ordeal of the recently-disbanded panellists was unconnected with their commitment to uphold justice at all cost.
He said: It is a fact that after the inaugural sitting, the panel had started sitting and had promised to ensure that justice is done to all parties, and in doing that, the chairman on behalf of other members covenanted that he and his members shall not be used to pervert the course of justice by making sure that justice is delivered without fear or favour of any party.
“Our party gubernatorial candidate in the election, Hon. Adekunle Akinlade together with our party, the APM, is questioning the unlawful return of the APC candidate in the election, Dapo Abiodun. This has given us the impetus to challenge any act of disbanding of erudite justices, who have covenanted to do justice to all and sundry only to wake up and be greeted with another panel whose chairman has lot of history of conflict of interest in the discharge of his duties as a judge.”
The APM boss while rejecting the new panel led by Justice Josephine Coker said her “ascension of the High Court of Lagos was motivated by the former Attorney General of Lagos state who is currently the Vice President of Nigeria and under former governor of Lagos state, Bola Tinubu, appointed her as a judge in Lagos state during his tenure as governor.”
The party further noted that its petition has a high chance of success at the tribunal, adding that it shall not “entertain any misgiving that the APC is trying to bring in through manipulative means. They brought motions to disband the panel without any congent reasons known to law and then request for a new panel to be reconstituted and the panel now reconstituted is being led by a judge who may likely dance to their tune and jettison the law in their favour.”
APM, the chairman also added, has petitioned the Court of Appeal to constitute another panel whose members should be drawn outside the South-West geo-political zone.
Dapo Abiodun was declared winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, a development that does not sit well with the APM; hence, it decision to head to the tribunal to seek redress.