Rivers, Akwa-Ibom Tribunal Judgments Cannot Stand – PDP
PDP has described as unacceptable and bizarre the election
tribunal verdicts in both Rivers and Akwa Ibom state. The
Akwa Ibom state election petition tribunal few days ago had
nullified the state governorship election in 18 Local
governments and ordered a rerun. PDP’s reaction is
contained in a statement released this afternoon by its
National Publicity secretary Olisa Metuh. Read after the
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) declares the verdict of
the River state governorship election tribunal sitting in
Abuja, which showed clear bias against Governor Nyesom
Wike and the PDP, as completely bizarre, unacceptable and
part of the script by the APC to manipulate the will of the
statement on Saturday said indications to this spurious
judgment had months ago been hinted to the PDP, which in
turn, alerted the nation and the international community of
the heinous plot by the APC government, to use the judiciary
and various security agencies to reverse the victory of the
PDP in Rivers, Delta, Akwa-Ibom, Taraba and Abia states.
“We invite Nigerians and the international community to
recall various reprehensible steps taken by the APC
government that culminated in this ruling as well as the
ridiculous Wednesday’s verdict of the Akwa-Ibom state
governorship election tribunal, also sitting in Abuja.
tribunals from their states to Abuja without any justification.
2. The constant juggling of judicial officers and members of
governorship elections tribunal in PDP states, especially,
Rivers and Akwa-Ibom states.
3. Constant harassment of judicial and electoral officers
involved in the governorship election cases in these state,
using agencies of government, particularly, the Directorate
of State Services (DSS) under the direct command of a
known APC member, Alhaji Lawal Daura.
4. Constant threats, intimidation and coercing of witnesses
against the PDP in the tribunals.
5. The recent mass transfer of security operatives,
especially the DSS and police personnel that actually
participated in the conduct of the elections in Rivers and
Akwa-Ibom, ostensibly to frustrate the course of genuine
evidences in the process.
“The bias in the judgment against the PDP in Rivers as well
as Akwa-Ibom is evidenced in the contradictions inherent in
the trial process of the two cases and the verdicts therein,
whereby the tribunals clearly disregarded standing legal
norm that a petitioner must establish prove of claims.
“Also curious is the fact that after both the petitioner and
respondent agreed before the tribunal that both card reader
and manual accreditations were used for the election, the
tribunal still went ahead to base its decision on issues of
While it is convenient to them to use legal technicalities to
deny PDP victory in Imo, Lagos, Ogun and Yobe states, the
same rules are misapplied to wickedly favour APC
petitioners in Rivers and Akwa-Ibom states.
“It is therefore evinced that these contradictions are direct
fall-out of compromises as well as boasts by the APC of
being in direct and remote control of the tribunals. If not,
how can one explain the fact that while governorship
elections are being upturned in PDP states, in APC states,
where similar claims and facts are in contention, elections
are being upheld.
“Further proof of bias by the Rivers tribunal is the fact that
less than 24 hours after various counsels submitted nine
written addresses and documents, the tribunal rushed its
notice of judgment, an action ostensibly aimed at
ambushing the pending Supreme Court action on the issue
of jurisdiction regarding the relocation of the tribunal
outside River state, which was due to be delivered on
“This is not withstanding the fact that the tribunal has up to
seven days after of receipt of addresses, to deliver its
judgment, but chose instead, to rush to deliver this spurious
verdict even on a Saturday, a development eliciting
suspicion that the judgment may have since been
predetermined and written even before the commencement
of the case.
“The PDP calls on all Nigerians and the international
community to note this growing manipulation of the
judiciary by the APC government, a factor which portends
great danger to our democracy and the stability of our
“Nigerians would want to recall that under the PDP-led
government with former President Goodluck Jonathan’s
commitment to the tenets of democracy as encapsulated in
the safeguard of ‘one man one vote’ and the independence
of the judiciary, the PDP conceded electoral defeat in Edo,
Anambra, and Imo states without attempting to collect
victory through executive manipulation of the judicial
“The PDP restates unequivocally that this judgments must
not stand in view of the prevailing inherent contradictions,
in addition to the huge threat they portend to our democracy
and national stability.
“Finally, the PDP charges all lovers of democracy,
particularly our members in Rivers and Akwa-Ibom state
not to be daunted, as these judgments will not stand the
test of the law and the will of the people. We therefore
reassure that the PDP will do all within the ambit of the law
to resist this criminal attempt by the APC to steal and
thwart the will of the people.