Don’t Foment Crisis in Abia Over Nwokocha’s Sacking, PDP Warns LP
Lampoons LP for Displaying Ignorance by Protesting Appeal Court Verdict
The Peoples Democratic Party in Abia State has raised the alarm over potential breakdown of law and order following the Labour Party’s rejection of the Appeal Court judgment sacking tue Senate Minority Whip, Senator Darlington Nwokocha.
The Appeal Court is the final court in the adjudication of petitions arising from the National Assembly and State Assembly elections.
On Saturday, October 4, 2023, the Appeal Court sitting in Lagos had voided the victory of Nwokocha, who was the candidate of LP in the February 25 National Assembly poll for Abia Central Senatorial District.
In the verdict of the three-man appeal panel, the candidate of the PDP, Col. Austin Akobundu(rtd) was returned as the authentic winner to represent Abia Central in the 10th National Assembly.
But while celebrating the triumph of its candidate, the PDP said it was worried at the “dangerous” posturing of LP leadership in Abia hence the need for security agencies to be ready to nip in the bud any threat to peace and security.
Abia PDP expressed its apprehension in a statement issued by its Vice-chairman/Acting State Publicity Secretary, Hon Abraham Amah, citing documents and utterances allegedly emanating from the LP camp LP.
“One of the documents is a circular from the Labour Party in Ikwuano which is calling its members to a solidarity rally in black clothes to protest the judgement of the Court of Appeal,” he said.
“This is unheard of in the history of our democracy that a political party would call its members to protest the judgement of a court,” the party spokesman added.
Amah further stated that the stance of the Abia LP leadership is worrisome with the party’s Chairman, Ceekay Igara, questioning the Appeal Court judgment and insisting that Nwokocha “still remains” the Senator for Abia Central.
Igara had told a press conference in Umuahia shortly after the verdict was given in Lagos that “we are more shocked by the rascality of the judiciary, especially muscling judgements, divisive judgements”.
The Abia PDP spokesman faulted Igara for his utterances, saying that he was calling for anarchy by rejecting and asking for a review of the judgement of a competent court of final jurisdiction.
“He(Igara) assumed<span;> the position of Judge Extraordinaire to lecture Abians, Nigerians and the press on why the judgement of a validly constituted court should not stand because a member of his party was removed from office,” Amah said.
Amah noted that the Abia LP leadership was engaging in “a careless and unforgivable display of ignorance” with its attempts to reduce the petition of the PDP to Section 77 of the Electoral Act.
According to him, “the Labour Party is quite ignorant of the fact that Abia PDP had 19 grounds of appeal, most of which Labour Party could not defend against”.
Amah explained that the most of the grounds of his party’s appeal bothered on noncompliance to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the 2022 Electoral Act as Amended.
“Their attempts to reduce the petition of the PDP to Section 77 of the Electoral Act is a careless and unforgivable display of ignorance,” he said, adding that the Court of Appeal had already determined that Section 77 is both pre-election and post-elecion matter.
“More grievous display of ignorance is the inability of the Labour Party to provide a copy of the judgement to members of the Press even while making wild claims of reversal in same breath.
“It is quite unfortunate that the Labour Party would stay mute when judgements go in its favour but prefer to bully society whenever a judgement goes against it,” the Abia PDP spokesman said.