■ Says, it’s travesty of justice – Group
From: OKEY SAMPSON, Aba
The Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), has faulted the Tribunal verdict, which struck out the petition of its candidate, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, against Mao Ohuabunwa of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and described the ruling, as judicial theft and undemocratic.
Speaking with journalists on Friday during a solidarity visit to the former governor at his Igbere country home, Comrade Ralph Ukoro, PPA chairman, Abia North, who led a mammoth crowd of party stalwarts, vowed that the party will reclaim its stolen mandate at the Appeal Court.
According to Ukoro, it is not out of place to say the judgment was manipulated by some bad eggs in the judiciary, and noted that the tribunal did not properly consider the merit of the whole case.
In his words, «we have our reservations on the tribunal verdict and we shall not give up until we reclaim our stolen mandate.
“It is a known fact that the PDP and its agents snatched ballot boxes and manipulated results of the rerun poll.
“As a law-abiding party, I wish to appeal to PPA loyalists, supporters and followers to remain calm and committed to the party.
“We strongly believe in our leader, Dr. Kalu, and we will continue to support him in all his political pursuits.
“It is not over till it›s over”, he declared.
In a similar development, Abia North Youth Association (ANYA), has described the ruling of the tribunal as a scam, and alleged that the PDP used Abia State resources to buy the judgment.
A statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Nneka Okonkwo, said, “it is a clear fact that Dr. Kalu won the race based on his popularity and acceptability in the zone.
“It is unfortunate that the judiciary, which ordinarily should be the hope of the common man has now turned to cash and carry.
“Abians want Dr. Kalu at the Senate and I know the voice of the people is the voice of the Lord, so shall it be”.
In the same vein, a political pressure group in Abia North, Old Bende for Good Governance (OBGG), has also faulted the judgment, and described it, as travesty of justice.
The coordinator of OBGG, Comrade Mba Okereke Odum in a swift reaction faulted the verdict, which he said left the substance of the matter and went into frivolities.
He wondered why the tribunal would rule that the former governor did not prove the allegations of irregularities beyond reasonable doubt, when it was on record that over six thugs armed to the teeth were arrested in a community in Ohafia Local Government Area for electoral violence and the people were later charged.
Odum said if this matter, which was properly brought before and canvassed at the tribunal by the petitioner’s counsels was not enough ground to prove irregularities in the rerun, INEC’s somersaulting when announcing the result of the rerun was enough to swing judgment in favour of the former governor.
Odum said there was no other way the people of the zone could expressed their displeasure over the verdict than the spontaneous protests that erupted in Aba and Umuahia after the judgment.
The OBGG coordinator stated that it was regrettable that of late, verdicts of some tribunals had called to question the integrity of the judges that manned them and urged the National Judicial Council (NJC) to urgently check this slide in the judiciary.
Odum commended Kalu’s courage and resolves to appeal the judgment and urged him not to relent until victory is won.
“Kalu won the rerun election, there was no doubt about it. Those who conducted the election knew, even the person who was declared winner also knew. So, we know that in the fullness of time, victory will be given back to who deserved it”.