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By Lere Olayinka
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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State has described the petition written to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Hon. Justice Dahiru Musdapher by the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi on the pending case against the Appeal Court judgement of October 15,

2010 on the Ekiti state governorship election as an attempt to blackmail, hoodwink and arm-twist the judiciary, saying; “Fayemi should rather let the court do it job instead of seeking to deny a fellow Nigerian his right to seek redress in Court and the duty of the Court to adjudicate over his complaint(s).”

The PDP, which reacted to Fayemi's petition to the CJN through its Chairman, Chief Bola Olu-Ojo said the usual tactics of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and its candidates whenever they have cases before the courts was to embark on a campaign of calumny, blackmail, intimidation and harassment against the judiciary, their opponents and any individual or organization that they perceive are obstacles on their way to achieve victory at all costs.

Olu-Ojo said; “it is the inalienable right of Nigerians to be heard whenever they choose to approach the Court. It is also the duty of the Court to adjudicate on all matters brought before it.”

He said by asking the CJN to prevent the matter from being heard, “Fayemi and his party, the ACN have once again demonstrated their contempt for the rights of Nigerians to seek redress in the Court of Law.”

The PDP chairman said; “It is the duty of the Court of Appeal President to set up Panel to adjudicate on matters brought before the Appellate Court.

“Therefore, demanding that a case that is brought before the Court should not be heard amounts to telling Nigerians that they no longer have rights to seek redress in the Court.

“Also, it amounts to demanding that the Court of Appeal President should stop performing his Constitutional duties as head of the Appellate Court in Nigeria.

“Most importantly, it exposed the hypocrisy of Fayemi and his ACN, having in the past, accused the immediate past CJN, Hon. Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu of interfering in the Sokoto State Governorship Appeal case.

“Our question then is, if Fayemi and his ACN said then that Hon.

Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu was wrong in interfering in the Sokoto State matter, are they now saying that the CJN, Hon Justice Dahiru Musdapher will be right to interfere in a matter that is before the Appellate Court?

“Isn't it hypocritical that the same ACN party that blamed the former CJN for interfering in a matter that was before the Court of Appeal is now asking the CJN, Hon Justice Dahiru Musdapher to do the same thing for which it castigated Hon Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu?”

Speaking further, Olu-Ojo said; “One wonders why Governor Fayemi and the ACN are afraid of allowing this matter to be heard by the Court of Appeal. It is a big irony that the party that always rushes to the Court at the flimsiest excuse will want to deny Nigerians of the same right.

“Governor Fayemi was in court against former Governor Segun Oni for more than three and a half years, even when he knew clearly that he never won any election in Ekiti state, including the rerun election of May 2009. Why then deny Segun Oni the same right?

“If Fayemi and the ACN are sure that they obtained the judgement of October 15, 2010 fairly, then they should not be so afraid to return to the Court to defend it?”

Describing Fayemi's petition to the CJN as abusive, insultive, arm-twisting and anticipatory, Olu-Ojo stated that; “It is a fact that the basis for our case was ignored by the Justice Umaru Abdullai-led panel.

“Our present application before the Appeal Court is premised on the Affidavit sworn to by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Senator Umaru Dahiru, in which the distinguished Senator averred that ACN National Leader, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu sought his (Sen Dahiru) assistance on the Senate screening and confirmation of Justice Salami as the Court of Appeal President.

“Also, a petition written by Senator Dahiru on the above allegation was pending before the NJC, which Justice Salami, who was a member of the NJC was aware of, before he constituted the Appeal Panel that heard the Ekiti State matter, and made himself the chairman.

“The above facts, among others are known to Governor Fayemi and his ACN, and they have even joined issues before the Court through a Preliminary objection. But in their usual characteristics of employing blackmail and arm-twisting to achieve their dubious goals, they have chosen to misinform the CJN and the general public.

“Most importantly, it amounts to standing logic on its head for a state governor to be canvassing that a decision of an Administrative Panel supersedes that of a Court of Law. In other words, what Governor Fayemi is saying is that the decision of the NJC panel is equal to that of a Court of Law, and that NJC Panel has the powers to discontinue a matter that is before the court. This is to say the least, babyish.

“Therefore, by asking the CJN to disband the Appeal Panel, and by implication prevent the case from being heard, Governor Fayemi and his ACN are asking Hon. Justice Dahiru Musdapher to pervert the course of justice, and go against his Oath of Office and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that he swore to protect and uphold.

“This to us is a continuation of the ACN's assault on the judiciary, which the party and its allies have done continually by casting aspersion on members of the Bench each time they rule against the party. In the interest of Nigeria and its people, this must stop!

“On our part, we will not be deterred in our crusade for the entrenchment of rule of law in Nigeria. In doing this, we will not succumb to intimidation and blackmail from those who are responsible for undermining the judiciary and other institutions in the country, and are only too willing to protect and consolidate their political house of fraud at all cost, even if it means bringing down the nation in the process!”