Benue ACN Dissociates Self From Threats On Tribunal Members
MAKURDI, July 26, (THEWILL) – The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has dissociates the political party and members from threats on members of the Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.
Following an announcement in open court yesterday by Justice Munir Ladan, Chairman of the Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, that members of the tribunal were under severe threats and intimidation and the subsequent adjournment of sittings for one week, the leadership of the ACN in Benue State said it wishes to dissociate itself and all its members from such acts of threats and intimidation and to state as follows:
“i) That this is part of the grand design by Governor Gabriel Torwua Suswam and the Peoples Democratic Party in Benue State to cause delay and subvert the cause of justice.
ii) That the ACN has confidence in the judiciary and believes in the capacity of the tribunal to restore its stolen mandate and cannot therefore be part of any threat and intimidation that would obstruct or block the course of justice.
iii) That we are aware and mindful of the mandatory constitutional provision of 180 days within which the tribunal must deliver judgment or the petition abates and God forbid if such becomes the fate of our petition which is one of the options being targeted by Governor Suswam and the PDP. While the antics and tactics of Governor Gabriel Suswam aimed at distracting the tribunal is going on, the time within which the tribunal must determine our petition has not stood still. The tribunal must therefore take into consideration, the right of the Petitioners to have their petition determined within the stipulated time prescribed by the constitution.
iv) That the Federal Government should provide enough security for the tribunal to dispose of its cases as the Governor and the PDP are not above the law and the Tribunal is part of a constitutional electoral process.
v) That Governor Gabriel Suswam should not expect that he will steal the peoples mandate, force himself on the people and obstruct, prevent or tie the hands of justice so that he will go scout free with such criminality.
vi) That previously, the government of Dr. Gabriel Suswam and the PDP intimidated and harassed the former tribunal Chairman, Justice Daisy Okocha when she refused to compromise such that she had to resign her membership of the tribunal.
vii) That we want the whole world to know that, when we were complaining of the state of insecurity in Benue State under the Governorship of Gabriel Suswam, we were accused of politicizing and crying wolf when there was none, even as the chief media Adviser to our Candidate, Mr. Charles Ayede was gunned down by assassins suspected to be agents of Governor Suswam and the PDP. This led the arrest, detention and arraignment of our Governorship Candidate, Prof Steve Torkuma Ugbah on charges of inciting public disturbance a case which is still ongoing at the Chief Magistrate Court 1 in Makurdi. Now that two election tribunals have been threatened by insecurity in Benue such that they cannot operate freely, the whole world will appreciate the circumstances and challenges under which the ACN has strived in Benue State. Our members have been threatened, intimidated, harassed, beaten, molested, kidnapped and even killed. No amount of such antics can subvert the will and resolve of the people against the ineffective and corrupt PDP government of Rt. Hon. Gabriel Suswam.
viii) That we want the PDP and Governor Gabriel Suswam to know that, the people of Benue voted him out and his connivance with INEC to rig his way and hoist himself on the people cannot continue to endure forever, he should just prepare his defense against certificate forgery and election malpractice rather than indulge in such Gestapo tactics as they are incapable of delivering him from the wrath of the law and that of God.
ix) That further to the intimidation of members of the tribunal, Counsels to the Petitioners have been variously threatened and intimidated through various text messages and unanimous phone calls cautioning them on the fatal consequences of the continued prosecution of the ACN petition. We had reported some of the threats to security agencies for their action. We also want to use this opportunity to call on the Inspector General of Police and other security agencies to thoroughly investigate these threats which we have compiled and forwarded to them and provide a level playing field for them to operate.
x) Finally, we call on all ACN members and supporters to remain calm and law abiding as our fate in the judicial process remains unshaken. We believe in justice and the rule of law and see the judicial process as a means of correcting the thievery, rigging and forgery perpetrated by Gabriel Suswam and the PDP in Benue State.”