- Holds emergency NEC today
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday challenged the Justice Tanko-led Supreme Court panel that heard the 2019 governorship appeal on Imo to recuse itself from the pending cases on Bauchi, Sokoto, Benue and Adamawa states.
The PDP argued that sequel to the judgement delivered on the Imo state governorship election last Tuesday, it was clear to it that the panel cannot be neutral in the pending cases.
Addressing a press conference yesterday in Abuja, the PDP National Chairman Prince Uche Secondus said the party would resist any attempt to subvert the will of the people in Sokoto, Benue, Adamawa and Bauchi states.
Secondus who asked the apex court to review and reverse the judgement on Imo governorship election in favour of the PDP, alleged that the verdict was a product of executive manipulation and recipe for crisis.
He also argued that the judgement was a miscarriage of justice and coup against the PDP and the people of Imo.
“What is more perplexing is the fact that INEC produced a schedule of reasons why results were not produced from the 388 units.
“Indeed election did not even take place in most of the units for one reason or another, like violence and so no result could possibly be obtained from those units. The results were not merely rejected or cancelled by INEC.
“None of the candidates or their counsel, except perhaps APC, as we speak, are aware of the number of votes scored by each party from the 388 polling units. The tribunal or Court of Appeal did not mention or ascribe any figure from the units to any party in their decisions.
“In fact, in the cross examination of the APC Candidate, Sen. Hope Uzodinma, he could not read any figure from the “Oluwole” results. He said that the figures were not clear. And so it beats our imagination where the Supreme Court conjured and manufactured the figures it used in declaring Uzodinma/APC as duly elected.
“In the light of extraordinary circumstances that vitiates that judgment as a product manipulation and a clear coup d’etat against the will of the people of Imo State, we demand that the decision of the Supreme Court on the Imo governorship election be reviewed and reversed in the interest of justice.
“Furthermore we demand that Justice Tanko Mohammed, the CJN and his colleagues on the Imo governorship panel recuse themselves from the remaining cases involving PDP in the Supreme Court,” he said.
Holds emergency NEC today
Meanwhile, the National Executive Committee (NEC) is meeting today at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.This will be the 87th NEC meeting of the party since its registration in 1998.
Daily Trust reported last Wednesday, that some PDP leaders were plotting to revolt following the alleged failure of the Prince Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee (NWC) to summon the NEC meeting in the last two quarters of 2019, contrary to the provisions of the PDP Constitution 2017, as amended.
But a top PDP source confirmed to our correspondent in a telephone chat yesterday that the meeting was slated for today, to discuss the state of the party and the nation.
“The NEC meeting will hold tomorrow (today) to discuss issues affecting the party. Key decisions will be reached at the meeting,” he said.
When our correspondent asked for the agenda of the meeting, he said, “We expect our National Chairman, Prince Secondus to brief NEC on governorship election cases pending in court.”
“The NEC shall also review the Supreme Court verdict on Imo governorship election, appraise the President Muhammadu Buhari regime and perhaps, discuss preparations in the build up to 2023 among others,” he added.
But the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan told our correspondent at the party’s national secretariat, Abuja, that the meeting would majorly discuss the state of the nation under President Muhammadu Buhari.
Also, the Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) has faulted the Supreme Court over its judgement declaring Uzodinma as the winner of the March 9, 2019 governorship election in the state.
The Executive Director, CTA, Faith Nwadishi, said in Abuja that the Judiciary is expected to play vital and complimentary role to INEC in realising free, fair and credible elections in the country.
She however expressed regret by what she called some of the pronouncements by the Judiciary especially, cases emanating from the 2019 general elections.
“According to official data from INEC, Imo State has 3,523 polling units, 823,743 accredited voters, 714,355 valid votes were cast at the 2019 governorship election, rejected votes were 25,130 and total votes cast were 739,485. The difference between the total number of accredited voters and total votes cast is 84,258. This includes cancelled votes and those areas where smartcard readers were not used.
“The questions begging for answer is where did the APC candidate get the extra votes to make him governor? So, the results from the 388 polling units alleged to have been excluded had only results for APC while the other political parties scored zero? What happened to their votes?,” she said.
Similarly, YIAGA Africa has alleged that the Supreme Court inflated the number of votes in its judgement on Imo State governorship appeal by 92,597 votes.
Executive Director of YIAGA Africa, Mr. Samson Itodo, said that while the full judgement of the Supreme Court on Imo is being awaited, the Returning Officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should not have made a declaration because the PDP candidate did not fulfil the constitutional requirements.
According to him, that election was meant to be declared inconclusive but he went ahead to make a declaration.