December 5, 2023

Abia guber: Why Appeal Court ruling can’t stand – Emenike, APC

Abia guber: Why Appeal Court ruling can’t stand – Emenike, APC

…head to Supreme Court

By Clifford Ndujihe

THE Abia State Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the 2023 poll, High Chief Ikechi Emenike, and the APC have picked holes in the Saturday verdict of the Court of Appeal, which affirmed the election of Dr. Alex Otti of the Labour Party, LP.

Emenike and Abia APC have vowed to go to the apex court “in search of justice.”

The Abia State APC Chairman, Dr. Kingsley Ononogbu, in a statement, said, “the party’s Governorship Appeal:  High Chief Ikechi Emenike  vs. INEC & 6ors had become another victim of the Nigeria judicial abracadabra.”

Ononugbo continued: “The court of appeal Lagos division dismissed our Appeal against the unconstitutional declaration of Alex  Otti as the governor of Abia State in the March 18 General Election.”  

He said APC and Ikechi’s team of lawyers became apprehensive when 8pm the night before the ruling news started flying that judgement would  be delivered the following day. 

“When our Lead Counsel, Tochukwu Maduka, SAN, contacted the deputy registrar, court of appeal Lagos, he apologized and sent a hearing notice of the day’s sitting at about 9am. It is unfortunate that democracy and rule of law have been reduced to this pitiable level in our dear county. In the circumstance, we will not relent. 

“We urge our members to keep calm as we are prepared to take steps and approach the Apex Court in the land for a final review of this obvious truncation of justice for curious reasons. We are aware that the journey to freedom has never been an easy one. We urge everyone to continue to remember our leader, High Chief Ikechi Emenike, the last man standing, in our prayers.”

A lawyer, Mr. Nnamdi Adiele, who said he was in the Lagos division of the Court of Appeal to witness the judgment, said: “Justice Habeeb Abiru abandoned the law, shunned justice, and embarked on a voyage of political fallacies and personal barb.”

He expressed worries about “the fate of Nigeria if clear constitutional provisions are so regrettably treated.”

Another lawyer, Ken Dike, wondered why qualification criteria would be used to remove the governors of Plateau and Kano states as well as the Abia Central Senator, among others, but were ignored in the case of Otti, and “Party waiver will be made to be superior to both the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Electoral Act.”

He said that these “strange pronouncements need to be tested at the Supreme Court.”

An APC stalwart, Mr. Kingsley Ngwaje,  who was in court for the verdict, said: “Where was Justice Abiru when some years ago in the 2008 Beijing, China Olympics Games, Nigeria’s female 100 metres relay team, who came fourth in the race, were upgraded to a silver medal because the countries that came first and second, respectively, were disqualified on accounts of doping infractions? 

“Earlier, Nigeria’s Sunday Bada and his team mates, who won the bronze medal in the 100 meters 4×4 relay during the 2000 Sydney Olympics, were moved up to the silver medal after the disqualification of the United States of America’s team because of a positive doping of two members of the US team.

“Even locally, our examination bodies, both JAMB and WAEC, have had cause to cancel the results or withdraw the results of those found to have cheated during the examinations. In any competition, even if 10 people who are placed in front are not qualified, they will remain unqualified. Justice Abiru only succeeded in turning logic upside down,” he averred.