March 1, 2020

PDP to petition NJC over Kogi High Court’s ruling on governorship primary poll

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Peoples Democratic Party

By Dirisu Yakubu

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has resolved to approach the National Judicial Council, NJC, to sanction Justice John Olorunfemi of the Kogi High Court, for recently nullifying the participation of the party in the 2019 governorship primaries.

This is even as the party rejected the judgment, claiming it unlawfully voided its “validly conducted primary election.”

Addressing newsmen at the party’s national secretariat on Sunday, national publicity secretary of the party, Kola Ologbindiyan said:

“The PDP intends to send a petition to the National Judicial Council, NJC, against the trial judge as his conduct amounted to gross misconduct, which our judiciary must not condone. Such judicial officer should not be allowed to continue to bring the institution of our judiciary to disrepute.


“The judgment is a classical example of judicial rascality and scandalous travesty of justice which cannot stand, and for which our party will stop at nothing in exploring all legal avenues to immediately set it aside at the appellate courts.

“The PDP holds that the judgment has heavily detracted from the integrity of the Kogi High Court, threatens the reputation of the entire institution of the judiciary if not immediately quashed.

“It is completely unimaginable that a court of law will allow itself to be railroaded into a voyage to the void, to the extent that it stood the law on its head by importing and pronouncing reliefs on matters that were not before it or even pleaded by any of the parties; to wit, a declaration on the validity of PDP Kogi state governorship election primary.

“The conduct of the judge only confirmed widespread stand that the court had been externally induced, ethically challenged and politically compromised to undermine the case of the PDP at the Kogi governorship election tribunal.”

The PDP fingered agents of the Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello and the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, accusing them of meddling in a court matter to spat the PDP.

“Already, our party has been fully made aware of how the APC and agents of Governor Yahaya Bello administration had mounted pressure on the court to corrupt itself by twisting a matter, which had nothing to do with the validity of our primary, to assist the APC in its obnoxious plots against the PDP.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Nigerians are all aware that our great party, on the 3rd and 4th of November 2109, duly conducted our primary for the Kogi governorship election, which was monitored and certified by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and which produced our candidate, Engr. Musa Wada, who fully participated in the November 16th 2019 governorship election.

“It is therefore instructive to state that the pre-election suit filed in the Kogi High Court by only one of our many aspirants in the primary, Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed Ibrahim, only sought the court to declare him the winner of PDP primary election.

“All the parties agreed that the primary was valid and concluded. The only contention between Engineer Musa Wada and Abubakar Mohammed Ibrahim was to determine who the actual winner was and nothing more.

“In determining the matter, the judge found that Abubakar Mohammed Ibrahim did not establish his case that he won the primary.  Instead of stopping at that, which is within the ambit of the reliefs sought and opposed in the court, the judge strangely went ahead to sacrilegiously deliver the script of the APC, to wit; declaring that the PDP Kogi State Governorship primaries was invalid and that PDP had no candidate for the Governorship election of 16th November, 2019.

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“This is indeed another sad commentary for the judiciary. How on earth can a judge engage in a deliberate public rape of the Lady Justice, in her own temple, just to please the pillagers of our democracy?

“The following questions are pertinent; Why did the trial Judge proceed to declare the PDP primary invalid when there was no such prayer before the court? Why did the trial Judge declare that the PDP had no candidate for the governorship election of 16th November 2020 when there was no such prayers before the court? Is the trial Judge a Santa Claus to award judgments that were not sought for?

“The conduct of the judge is completely unethical, a direct abuse of the law and powers of the court to satisfy the interest of the APC and Governor Yahaya Bello, in their failed bid to frustrate the retrieval of our governorship mandate at the tribunal.

“The PDP will take this matter to the very legitimate end and get redress at the appellate courts and we have instructed our lawyers accordingly.

“Our party believes that the ignoble conduct of the trial court does not represent the overall attitude of our judiciary. He acted on his own and must be seen in that light.”

Meanwhile, the PDP insists that its decision to approach the Supreme Court for a review of the 2019 Imo governorship election is borne out of “fact” uncovered in its findings.

According to Mr. Ologbindiyan, the party would not even contemplate withdrawing its demand, insisting that the party was confident of justice. He dismissed fears that the apex court may sanctioned its counsels as it did recently with the legal representatives of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the Bayelsa governorship tussle.

He said: “We hold firmly that there will be no sanctions against our lawyers because the reason we went to the Supremes Court is to state clearly that it was misled by the APC.

“We are at the Supreme Court to state clearly that the result of votes the Supreme court declared for the APC is even more and larger than the total number of registered votes. And that the highest court in the land was misled into taking that decision.

“So we are not confronting the supreme court as a political party, No. The PDP and our candidate Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha who has a history of political participation in Nigeria, who has had the opportunity of leading the house that has constitution responsibility to make law, will not go like that. And our party that nurtured democracy for over 20 years will not confront the supreme court.

“We understand democracy better than the APC. We know the import of democracy; we know our right within the confines of democracy. And such we owe it a responsibility to our country because we all belong to the same nation.

“So if there are errors in what the APC and its candidate Hope Uzodinma had deliberately laid before the Supreme Court and push the Supreme Court into taking the wrong decision; We have a responsibility as a party that brought democracy to Nigeria to point out those errors to the Supreme Court and I do not think we have acted wrong; rather we have acted on the part of justice.