Election petitions: PDP accuses Buhari, APC of meddling in judicial process
The peoples Democratic Party has criticised President Muhammadu Buhari, the judiciary, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Department of State Services (DSS) over the party's recent electoral reverses in Rivers and Akwa Ibom States.
The opposition party accused the president of meddling in the judicial process through the instrumentality of the DSS and the judicial authorities.
For the party, Buhari’s administration has manifestly compromised critical institutions, including the judiciary, DSS and INEC, for the purpose of subverting democracy in the country.
The party's position was released in Abuja national caucus after an emergency meeting in Abuja on Thursday, where it reviewed the judgements of the Akwa Ibom and Rivers State Election Petition Tribunal.
In a communique at the end of the meeting, the PDP National Secretary, Prof. Wale Oladipo, said the APC-led government has eroded the 'gains' recorded by the PDP in its 16 years in the saddle
According to the party, which is learning the ropes as opposition party after 16 years in power, the behaviour of the President and the ruling All Progressives Congress constitutes a huge threat to the nation's democracy and danger to its peace, unity and progress.
The party said, “The undue interferences by the executive arm of government in the activities of the judiciary, legislature and INEC, using the Directorate of States Services is clearly unacceptable to the PDP as well as the Nigerian people and the party resolved to vigorously resist such.
“The PDP finds it offensive and provocative the judiciary's handling of cases involving it in election tribunals in some states, particularly Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Imo, Taraba, Ogun, Plateau and Lagos.
“The conclusive evidence of external influence on the Rivers State governorship election tribunal is the fact that it was able to deliver its judgment within 24 hours in a case that had nearly 100 witnesses, 1,000 pieces of documentary evidences and nine counsel's final written addresses; each not less than 40 pages.
“The decision, in view of the rather interesting history of the case, indicates that the judiciary, like the PDP and the Nigerian electorate, are victims of the APC-led Federal Government.
“The tainted judgments of these tribunals, which are evidently products of arm-twisting from the nation's security operatives under the direct command of an APC member, remains unacceptable to us”.
The PDP also alleged clandestine moves by the APC to use various agencies of government to manipulate the upcoming governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states, vowing to deploy every means within the law to resist the moves.
The APC, it claimed, is steering the country towards dictatorship and asked the judiciary to restore its image by taking immediate measures to protect itself from political interferences.
Besides, it said the Court of Appeal must remedy the “embarrassing rulings” by some election petition tribunals, particularly those of Rivers and Akwa Ibom states.
The PDP similarly called on President Buhari to stand up for justice and equity, and halt the undemocratic attitudes of agents of government in the interest of peace and stability.
It hailed its senators for walking out of the Red Chambers on Thursday ahead of the confirmation of former governor of Rivers State, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, as a ministerial nominee, saying: “We salute the courage and unity of purpose of our senators, especially as demonstrated in the Senate chambers on Thursday in their collective stand against impunity and corruption, in line with the wishes and aspirations of the Nigerian people.
“The PDP states that what the APC senators did at the ministerial screening was a death knell on their party's pretentious war against corruption.”
It wondered why “former APC governors are being rewarded with ministerial appointments” while those of PDP “are being hounded and harassed in the selective war against corruption.”
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