‘Supreme Court’s verdict on Abia, Akwa Ibom polls will restore hope, confidence’
THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says with Wednesday’s rulings affirming the elections of Governors Udom Emmanuel and Okezie Ikpeazu of Akwa Ibom and Abia states respectively, the Supreme Court has further reinvigorated the hope and trust of the citizenry in the judiciary as the bastion of democracy.
Similarly, Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti and his Delta State counterpart, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa have hailed the victories of their brother-governors describing the ruling as “well-deserved” and a triumph of “patriotism over dictatorship and harassment.”
Also, Lagos-based lawyer and human rights advocate, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, described the judgment as “hope for Nigeria as it constitutes a glorious reminder of the golden years of the apex court, when courage, objectivity and intellectualism,” were the hallmarks of jurisprudence.
The acting National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus in his reaction to the Supreme Court verdict yesterday said the party and all lovers of democracy commended the maturity and patriotism being displayed by the Supreme Court in dispensing justice, a development, which has strengthened the confidence of the people in democracy and rule of law.
According to the PDP, “Wednesday’s rulings on Abia and Akwa-Ibom, coming after the apex court had last week handed justice in affirming the elections of Governors Nyesom Wike and Dave Umahi of Rivers and Ebonyi states, have not only put a seal on the popularity of our governors, as duly reflected in the elections, but also that of the PDP, irrespective of the temporary setback of the 2015 general elections.
While congratulating our governors and indeed, all well-meaning Nigerians for this triumph of democracy, we restate our charge to all PDP elected and appointed office holders at all levels across the country to continue to patriotically exert themselves, while maintaining the lead in providing purposeful leadership in line with the ideology and visions of PDP founding fathers”, Secondus said.
Meanwhile, the leadership and members of United Progressive Party (UPP) expressed gratitude as they congratulated Governor Ikpeazu and his Akwa-Ibom counterpart over their victory at the Supreme Court.
In a congratulatory message signed by the National Chairman, Chief Chekwas Okorie, the party said the Supreme Court verdict is an indication that democracy is taking root in Nigeria as well as a confirmation of the people’s mandate.
UPP also commended the Justices of the Supreme Court for restoring confidence in the judiciary as the last hope of all aggrieved people and bringing to a peaceful end the Governorship Election dispute that polarised the people.
To Fayose the apex court ruling was a courageous demonstration by the nation’s judiciary.
The Ekiti State governor, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Idowu Adelusi said, “Those who are true lovers of democracy and patriotic Nigerians should show the courage needed to confront those who want to subvert the will of the people freely expressed through the ballot. We must also rise up and condemn any subterranean move to cow the judicial arm to do the bidding of some powers that be.
“A situation where judicial officers are intimidated by the comments made by some people in authority is condemnable. There is separation of powers in our constitution and all arms of government know what they need to do for our country to run smoothly and not as a personal fiefdom of anybody,” he said.
Fayose particularly decried the statement credited to the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, whom allegedly described the affirmation of the electoral victory of Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyessom Wike, as astonishing.
“One may initially think Odigie-Oyegun was merely lamenting their loss as a politician who has the interest of the people at heart. But going down his speech, the real motive for their desperation to win some states through the back door was exposed.
“His lamentation that the loss of an oil-rich state, no matter who low the price of crude oil is revealed their greed. They are not after the welfare of the people, but are concerned with what they would gain from the commonwealth of the people. Nigerians can now see that they have nothing to offer, but are only after the ‘spoils’ of what they think they can get illegally,” he said.
Speaking in similar tone with Fayose, Governor Okowa said Ikpeazu and Emmanuel victories were well deserved.
He described the victories at the apex court as “well deserved” for Udom and Ikpeazu.
In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Charles Ehiedu Aniagwu, Okowa commended the Supreme Court Justices for the landmark judgments. He said the court has indeed upheld the rule of law and Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He said that the judgment of the apex court on the cases of Udom and Ikpeazu was a victory for the nation’s democracy and a reaffirmation of the divine mandate freely given to the governors by the people and commended the Supreme Court for ensuring the sanctity of the people’s mandate.
According to him, “The ruling of the Supreme Court on the Akwa-Ibom and Abia states Governorship Election will go a long way in restoring the hope and confidence of the Nigerian people on the sanctity of the judiciary.”
The governor also lauded the apex court for standing firm in the defence of the law and constitution stressing that the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the electoral procedures and laws made it imperative to amend the Electoral Act, if the country must to continue with the use of card readers in subsequent elections.
Victorious Abia State governor, whose election was affirmed by the country’s apex court, urged his distractors or any one not to trouble him henceforth as it was now time to work for the state.
He described his victory over his APGA challenger, Dr. Alex Otti as “the victory of God, the victory of justice, the victory of David over Goliath and the victory of the common masses,” as he also declared that there was no victor and no vanquished.
Governor Ikpeazu’s reaction, which was contained in a press statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Godwin Adindu added that the Supreme Court has given him the impetus to continue with his revolution of rebuilding the state.
“With the distractions over, the tempo of infrastructural renewal in the state will be accelerated in the days ahead. This reaffirmed victory is a clarion call for greater stewardship to the people of Abia and I will remain consistent with my vision of putting the people first”.
Quoting Galatians 6: 17 in the Bible, Ikpeazu said, “From now on, let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the mark of my lord Jesus.”
He beckoned on his detractors to shield their sword and join him in his crusade of developing Abia State while he also thanked the people of Abia State for their support and doggedness throughout the campaigns, the elections and the legal battle adding that there is now light at the end of the tunnel.
But reacting to the verdict, the Chairman of the Abia State chapter of APGA, Rev. Augustine Ehiemere told The Guardian that his party spurned the verdict, alleging that it was collaboration between the PDP and the Supreme Court.
His words, “Who would not reject the judgment. It is teamwork between the court and the PDP. It is a team work between the PDP and the cabal that has held this country hostage.”
Supporting Ehiemere, the APGA National Chairman, Chief Victor Ike Oye also said his party was surprised at the verdict. According to him, “APGA worked hard from campaigns to the tribunal and expected favorable judgment. The Supreme Court seemingly did not put into consideration the relevant issues that would have guided it to arrive at the expected verdict.”
Human Rights campaigner, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa has commended the recent judgments of the Supreme Court, in respect of the various election petitions, across the country saying that the decisions spelled hope for Nigeria.
According to him, “Such decisions constituted a glorious reminder of the golden years of our apex court, when courage, objectivity and intellectualism, were the hallmarks of jurisprudence.”
The lawyer in a statement yesterday said the erudite decisions, coming in the face of threats, blackmail and intimidation of judges across the country and bore a loud testimony of the valiant struggles of all the country’s heroes past.
His words, “In another sense, they constitute a bold declaration of judicial autonomy and jurisprudential authority. The Chief Justice of Nigeria, leading other erudite justices, spoke with the voice of truth, to rescue democracy from its imminent peril. In all these judgments, whether on the side of the All Progressive Congress or the People’s Democratic Party or indeed any other party, the Supreme Court spoke as the true oracle of our much-cherished judiciary, fearlessly declaring the will of the people over and above primordial and banal sentiments and political affiliations.
“The Supreme Court took the appeals and delivered its judgments pronto, even till late in the night, not giving any room for speculations or manipulations. It restored the pride of the judiciary and sent down courage and strength, to all judges and all courts across the land, to rise up and declare the law, to defend the truth and to do justice according to law, no matter the interests involved.