The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, has hit out at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for ‘deliberately’ attempting to blackmail the Supreme Court to get favour in governorship cases in Sokoto, Bauchi and other states.
Oshiomhole said calling for the resignation of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Mohammed, was the height of recklessness by the PDP and an effort to cause civil unrest in the country.
The former Edo State governor stated this at a press briefing in Abuja on Friday while replying the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus over his outburst following the Supreme Court ruling in Imo State.
The apex court had in a judgment on Tuesday sacked Emeka Ihedioha of PDP as the governor of Imo state and declared the APC candidate, Senator Hope Uzodinma, as the duly elected governor, much to the consternation of the opposition party and many political watchers.
But Oshiomhole said the statement by the PDP was not only designed to intimidate the judiciary but to lay foundation for civil unrest.
Oshiomhole said Ihedioha did not get the required one-quarter vote in two-thirds of the 27 local government areas of Imo state, lampooning the state Returning Officer, Prof Francis Otunta, for not recognising the fact that 12 is not 2/3 of 27.
He said, “That a returning Officer ought not only to be dismissed but should face the consequences of his action. It was the height of irresponsibility on the part of Independent National Electoral Commission to condone such action.
“A professor of mathematics curiously did not know that 12 is not two third of 27 local government areas and proceeded to unlawfully declare Emeka Ihedioha as governor of Imo state.
“In a society that is committed to fairness and rule of law, that returning officer ought not only to be dismissed, he ought to have reported himself to the security at how he must have arrived at the decision to declare Emeka Ihedioha as governor.
Oshiomhole said the INEC collation officers working with the PDP deliberately cancelled the results in the stronghold of Uzodinma to make him lose the election without valid reasons.
The APC chair insists Uzodinma would have scored the highest votes if the results had been collated the first time.
“It has been the philosophy of PDP from 2003 after the 1999 elections to arrogantly ask their agents or activists to manipulate INEC to add vote and tell the loser who would have been the winner to go to court and challenge them if he is not ready to accept the fraud perpetrated between INEC and PDP.
“That exactly was what they did in the case of Imo and I think that was the height of irresponsibility on the part of INEC. Now that it has been established that the Professor went out of bounds and indulged in this reckless pronouncement that has led us to this situation that we are in, he can not enjoy the comfort of his zone while he has laid foundation that all kinds of political vultures are trying to feast on.
“I believe that what is important to me and my party is where the truth lies. The interest of the Nigerian nation and the need to service our democracy is far more important than the interest of any political party and the interest of any governorship aspirant or candidate whether he is of the APC or PDP or any other political party,” he said.
The former Edo governor cautioned Secondus and the PDP for calling for the resignation of the CJN.
“When they make statement such as ‘this is a coup, this is a threat to our democracy,’ they behave as if they have another passport. But the rest of us who have only one passport, the green passport, this democracy has come to stay. We must contribute our own quota to deepen it by obeying the rules of the game,” he said.
“It is a fact that PDP is a beneficiary of fraud year in year out and it became part of their sing song over time to rig them out and let them go to court.
“The PDP can never, whether on ground of morality or on account of their known history pronounce, in a manner in which they did as if they are not the ones who laid foundation for all the challenges we are facing in our democracy.
“The current electoral act was not crafted by the APC government. It was crafted by the PDP government because they had the instrument of rigging and they made it such a law that it is almost impossible for anyone who has been rigged out to seek redress from the law court. This is why our President has committed himself to doing everything he can to ensure that, on the basis of the lessons learnt, he will clean up the system and leave us with a legacy that will ensure better elections in the future.”
The former Edo governor recalled that the APC accepted its fate when it was barred from presenting candidates in Rivers state in the general election and when its victories were awarded to the PDP in Zamfara after winning the governorship as well as the National and House of Assemblies elections.