By Lere Olayinka

The Ekiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PD) has described the statement credited to the Action Congress of Nigeria

(ACN) Spokesperson, Mr. Lai Mohammed that the Appeal Court decision on the governorship appeal case was final as irresponsible, saying; “It is only in a congregation of fraudulent elements like the ACN that judgements that are procured by fraud and unethical means can be final.”

State Chairman of the party, Chief Bola Olu-Ojo, who made the party's position known in a release issued in Ado-Ekiti today, reiterated the party's call on the National Judicial Council (NJC) to order a retrial of the cases by another panel of judges, adding that this was the only way to justify the confidence of the people.

He said; “if they claim they are 'infallible because they are final'

then we say judgements that are procured by fraud and unethical means cannot be final.''

The chairman said; “Our position has even been more strengthened with Lai Mohammed's tacit admittance of the telephone conversations with Justice Salami and others. Or how does anyone interprets his

(Mohammed) statement implying that judges can attend birthday parties, wedding ceremonies or other social functions of litigants, have telephone conversations or even ride in the same car with people whose case they are handling?

Olu-Ojo said the petitions forwarded to the NJC for review of the judgements of the Ekiti and Osun States Governorship cases was done to show the desperation and the undemocratic extent to which the ACN went in its attempt to take over the two states.

Speaking on the release of call logs between some Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) leaders and lawyers with the President Court of Appeal, during the tribunal cases, Olu Ojo said the petition was not intended to bring down the judiciary but to show the true colours of the ACN as undemocratic agents whose penchant to use propaganda and invidious

legal technicalities to override popular votes have become a threat

to democracy.
''We are not out to denigrate the judiciary but we want Nigerians to see the dangers of the desperation and undemocratic tradition of ACN who are known for merely mouthing democracy yet they use undemocratic means of searching for victory.

''When the judgements were delivered and all known rules and the precedent of election cases were thrown overboard, the PDP rejected the verdict and announced to the world that the judgement whose content were already known to the ACN AT LEAST TWO WEEKS BEFORE DELIVERY was bizarre and injudicious and that we would protest to the highest judicial body in the world. The petition to the NJC by former Governor, Chief Segun Oni was therefore in line with our resolve to follow due process in seeking for judicial review.''

''If Nigerians want their votes to count, then they must protest against voiding of votes using legal technicalities and undue influence on the judiciary which has been the hallmark of the ACN. The PDP has been on the streets campaigning everywhere despite our comfortable majority while ACN and the other parties are still battling with imposition of candidates, and internal problems, yet when we win they will be quick to run to the press and the courts to rubbish the votes.

''This injudicious method of voiding popular votes and giving victory to the loser is what is causing the problem in Cote d ivoire and the entire country is at risk, yet Nigerians and the international community accept it in Nigeria and reject it elsewhere.''

''We are not jumping to conclusions but we asked for investigation of the inappropriate communications between the leaders of the ACN and the Judges. If Lai Mohammed claim that the ACN leaders are Salami's friends and social acquaintances and that is why they were calling him, then the ethical thing is for Salami to have disqualified himself from the cases,” Olu Ojo said.

Olu Ojo challenged the ACN to explain how it came about the judgments weeks before they were delivered, saying; ''How were they able to procure Aso ebi and an elaborate programme of inauguration of their governors less than 24 hours after the judgments,'' he asked, saying that the ACN people are the real culprits in the disparaging of the Nigerian Judiciary.