Give judgement in cases of Albert, Idem, others now – PDP tells Appeal Court
Akwa Ibom state chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has demanded that judgement in the cases of its candidates, Senator Bassey and Albert, Hon Unyime Idem and all other cases due for judgement be delivered without any further delay.
Publicity Secretary of PDP, Ini Ememobong, in a press conference he addressed in Uyo on Thursday also described as awkward the decision by the Court of Appeal panel to adjourn judgment after conclusion of hearings and adoption of briefs by parties, stressing that the court could only do so in exceptional cases which both parties must be informed, but that was not applicable in the said case.
Ememobong said: “On the said date, the panel arrived at the court premises but did not sit. However, the registrar of the court announced in open court that judgment in all the cases on the cause list for that day will no longer be delivered, without any further explanation.
“As a party (PDP) and defendant in these matters, we find this situation very awkward and therefore invite the attention of the international community, the National Judicial Council, Chief Justice of Nigeria, civil society groups to the existing anomaly as regards these cases.
Ememobong explained that it was trite law that after the adoption of briefs by parties and a court adjourns for judgment.
He added that on the next adjourned date, it was obligatory for the court to deliver judgment on the matter, except where things arise that make it impossible for the judgement to be delivered.
“In such exceptional cases, all the parties must be informed of such supervening circumstances. In the instant case, there was no explanation whatsoever and there is till date, no explanation for the inability of the court to deliver judgment on these cases.
“The Court of Appeal being a creation of a law to protect and uphold the Democratic governance cannot become a vehicle for the subjugation of popular will freely be manifested through the ballot.
“While our party and our candidates, who have transited into government functionaries are peace-loving and law-abiding citizens, we advise the various authorities adjudicating on election matters not to mistake our civility and respect for the rule of law, for ignorance or cowardice.
“We (PDP), therefore, demand that the judgment in the cases of Senator Bassey Albert, Hon. Unyime Idem and all other cases due for judgement be delivered without any further delay.
“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 shun those who threaten them with victimization and lure them with speedy elevation to the apex bench”
He further stated that the party would have ignored the situation or second-guessed that there were genuine reasons for the failure to deliver the judgment, but not for the sudden celebration by APC supporters and aides on the social media clamouring that they have caused a change in the panel to sit and deliver judgment in their favour.
“This event forces a reminiscence of the Chief Godswill Akpabio pre-emptive legal circus where APC media nightsoil men had already informed the world of the existence of a minority judgement earlier in the day before the drama eventually became reality. We hope and pray that this postulation never materializes.
“We are therefore very suspicious of this newfound 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 judgment in favour of the APC.
“We need not emphasise that elections in the affected constituencies were won fair and square by Obong Bassey Albert, and Hon. Unyime Idems with APC candidates trailing miserably far behind.
“As a party (PDP) and Respondents in the referred suits, we consider a change of panel outrightly unnecessary there being no justification for such change.
“While we are not afraid of any panel change since the law is near certain and varies not with the skin colour, religion, tribe or surname of the Judge, we are however concerned with the level of indulgence granted the APC and the legality of such an action”, he stressed.
Photo: Ini Ememobong, Publicity Secretary, PDP