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PDP, APC trade words over appeal court judgements

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that a cabal in the Presidency is out to emasculate the country’s democracy, by overturning the will of…

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that a cabal in the Presidency is out to emasculate the country’s democracy, by overturning the will of the people as expressed during elections in favour of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

But the APC in its reaction said the opposition party’s “attacks calculated to disparage, denigrate and blackmail our democratic institutions, particularly the Judiciary” revealed that the party has “lost its purpose, its essence, if it ever had any” and has thus become a liability to partisan democracy.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters on Thursday, the acting National Chairman of the PDP, Amb. Umar Damagum, alleged that there was an ongoing design by APC to “cripple democracy, overthrow the democratic rights of Nigerians, suppress the rule of law and downgrade our nation to a fiefdom run by the whims of a cabal.”

Damagum said it has become pertinent to alert Nigerians that the country is “fast sliding into totalitarianism following the activities of a cabal in the presidency which is out to emasculate institutions of democracy, especially the Judiciary in the desperation to subvert and overturn the expressed will of Nigerians in the various election matters across the country.

“This sinister agenda tailored towards a systemic emasculation of the opposition and foisting of an oppressive one-party system is evident in the conduct and outcome of certain election petitions in Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Delta, Ogun and other states of the nation where the election petition and appeal panels were used to rob the PDP of victory won at the polls.

“Also of serious concern is the continuing stay of the patently biased Plateau State Election Appeal Court Panel sitting in Abuja despite widespread demands by the people of Plateau State and the PDP for its immediate disbandment having regards to its varying and contradictory judgments against the PDP,” he said.

Consequently, the PDP called on the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and the President of the Court of Appeal to save the situation by immediately insulating the courts from the alleged influence of the anti-people cabal seeking to emasculate the judiciary by disbanding the present “Plateau State Election Appeal Court Panel, set up a new appeal panel and subject the bias judgments by the Plateau State Election Appeal Court Panel to judicial review.”

But reacting, the APC in a statement by its publicity secretary, Felix Morka said, “PDP’s hallucinations about one-party state is understandable only in the context of its unrealized plan to rule Nigeria for 60 years but now seeks to taint APC with its own scripted crude, intolerant, unpatriotic and anti-democratic zealotry.”

“What is by far more repugnant, devious and a clear and present threat to our democratic way of life is the PDP’s relentless and unjustified objurgation of our courts and judges. The PDP has maligned and poured invectives on our judges at every turn since its miserable performance in the general elections. When it is not accusing judges of bias or corruption, it is calling for the disbandment of some judicial panels.

“Yet, the same party has been the biggest beneficiary of the vibrancy and independence of the judiciary since the country’s return to civilian democracy in 1999.”

He added that “Rather than dissipate its low energy on rallying other opposition parties into a phantom coalition, the PDP may wish to undertake critical introspection, reinvent itself, if not already too late, instead of blaming the courts and others for the self-inflicted hot mess the party is in, or save our partisan democracy the embarrassment by winding down altogether.”

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