Joe Effiong, Uyo
Akwa Ibom chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised the alarm over refusal of the Court of Appeal sitting in Calabar to give judgment on appeals filed against the party and its candidates by the All Progressives (APC) and some of its National Assembly candidates.
Addressing the press in Uyo, yesterday, the state publicity secretary of PDP, Mr. Ini Ememobong, said the court upon concluding hearing on the appeals filed by Bassey Etim, Emmanuel Ukoette and the APC against the judgments of the Election Petition Tribunal delivered in favour of Senator Bassey Albert (Akwa Ibom North East) and Unyime Idem (Ukanafun/Oruk Anam Federal Constituency) respectively adjourned for judgment on Tuesday October 15.
Ememobong said on the said date, the panel arrived the court premises but did not sit only for the registrar to announce in open court that judgment in all the cases on the cause list for that day would no longer be delivered, without any further explanation.
“We would have ignored the situation or second guessed that there were genuine reasons for the failure to deliver the judgment, but for the sudden celebration in the camp of the opposition APC, evident majorly on the social media accounts of APC media aides and supporters clamouring that they have caused a change in the panel to sit and hear the appeal and that the new panel is set to deliver judgement in their favour.”
He said the PDP was suspicious of the new found jubilant mood which as conveyed by the opposition APC, is predicated on their report of a new panel by the Court of Appeal whose mandate is to deliver judgement in favour of the APC.
“We urge the noble Justices of the Court of Appeal to do justice according to law and deliver justice, conscious that it is a sacred duty, which they took an oath to perform.
“They should be circumspect of political turncoats and opportunists masquerading as statesmen and federal agents, who promise them favours that can rob the judiciary of its nobility. The Justices must remember their sacred roles as ministers in the temple of justice and avoid the shame that their compromise can bring to their name and the noble profession. They must realise that what money cannot do, more money will not do. Integrity cannot be bought with money, no matter the amount.”
He said it had become traditional for the APC in Akwa Ibom to think that a change of panel would automatically guarantee their victory in court, just like they thought that “federal might” and “walking stick” contractors will help them win at the polls.