Relocation of Tribunals to Abuja: APC’s plot to hijack Rivers, Akwa Ibom- By Nwobodo Chidiebere

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Judge

There shall be established in each state of the federation one or more election tribunals, which shall to the exclusion of any Court or tribunal, have original jurisdiction to hear and determine petitions as to whether any person has been validly elected to the office of governor or deputy governor or as a member of any legislative House”.

—Section 285; Sub Section (2) of 1999 Constitution (As amended).

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The recent controversial relocation of tribunals in Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Taraba States, respectively, to Abuja did not come as a surprise to discerning minds that have been following the unfolding conspiracy against the old Eastern region since after the general elections that saw the two geo-political zones of South-East/South-South remaining the stronghold of the now opposition party, PDP. The relocation of Taraba State Election Petition Tribunal together with Rivers and Akwa Ibom tribunals was a ploy to deceive gullible Nigerians in other to conceal the ill-conceived intentions to hijack Rivers and Akwa Ibom States by those behind this heinous machination to thwart the will of the people of these States who defied the propagandist tendency of the APC to elect their leaders.

 

The relocation of these Tribunals to Abuja by the President of Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa as a result of “security threats” in those states exposed the grand conspiracy of APC leaders who are hell bent to capture Rivers and Akwa Ibom at all cost even if it means setting the whole country ablaze provided their insatiable crave for political power is protected. The plot was hatched immediately after the results of governorship elections were announced by Prof Jega-led INEC were the candidates for the APC in those states were roundly defeated by the PDP candidates in elections that were adjudged to be credible by international observers. It is very unfortunate and disheartening that the current president of Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa has been allegedly hired to direct the actors that are already acting out the script written by APC national leader who has allegedly voted out billions of naira to execute infamous invasion of Rivers and Akwa Ibom States, respectively by upturning the elections of PDP governors in those states.

The flimsy excuse of security threats brandied by President of Court of Appeal to relocate these Tribunals to Abuja cannot hold water; no reputable media house has carried any report or news as regards the alleged “security threats” in those states. In fact, the two states of Rivers and Akwa Ibom have been very peaceful since the inauguration of these administrations as a result of the triumphing of peoples will via ballot papers—which is the victory for democracy. It is on record that Election Petition Tribunals are still sitting peacefully in the Bokoharam-ravaged states of Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Kano, Gombe, Bauchi, etc.

 

The pertinent and thought-provoking questions racing through the minds of discerning Nigerians are: why will Election Petition Tribunals continue to sit in those insurgents-infested states without any “security threats” as defined by the President of Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa but ceased to sit in peaceful states of Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Taraba as a result of “security threats” as promulgated by the President of Court of Appeal? Is it the same scenario of Ayo Salami, the former President of Court of Appeal who was accused by the PDP of conniving with the then ACN leader, Senator Bola Tinubu to influence the judgements of Governorship Election Petition Tribunals in Edo, Ekiti and Osun States in favour of then ACN playing back again? It is true that those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it, what is the motivation of relocating Tribunals handling election petition cases only in PDP-controlled States to Abuja, even when verifiable evidences in those states are contradicting the ill-informed position of President of the Court of Appeal to relocate these Tribunals to Abuja? Is this part of the APC’s plot to strangulate the opposition, PDP ahead of 2019 elections by taking over oil-rich states of Rivers and Akwa Ibom under the firm grip of the PDP?

 

Under the PDP-led Federal Government, opposition politics thrived as a result of the later tolerance for tenets of democracy—which saw the then opposition parties winning governorship elections under PDP-controlled Federal Government, but it appears that the APC want to turn Nigeria into one party nation; taking into consideration the body language of its leadership, where they are doing everything humanly possible to hijack Rivers and Akwa Ibom States via tribunals. This crowd of conspiracy started building up immediately after the general elections, when the APC-controlled media outfits unleashed it hordes of media machineries on South-East/South-South zones with sole objective to discredit the elections held in these regions. The Lagos media axis started churning out fictions stories as editorials, articles and news reports in other to rubbish the credibility of elections conducted in these two regions as preparatory grounds to use tribunals to thwart the will of the people to enable their paymasters extend their political empire to South-East/South-South by installing their stooges via the tribunals. These media houses have not deem it fit to investigate the mysterious death of former Kano State Resident Electoral Commission, Mr. Mikhail Abdullahi and his family, who were killed by “misery” fire two days after Kano State gave the then APC Presidential candidate, General Buhari almost two million votes without single cancellation of votes in a state where majority of its voters are illiterates. It is yet to be refuted that thousands of underage voters took part in contributing the alleged fabricated numbers of votes in Kano that enable President Buhari to emerge the winner of the widely celebrated “free and fair” election, which the undeniable pictures of these underage voters were extensively circulated online with some of them hiding their faces as a result of guilty conscience.

 

With all these weighty evidences of electoral fraud in Kano and other Northern States, yet the same hypocritical elements that have being trying hard to portray elections in South-East/South-South as being rigged, failed to see any wrong doing in elections held in those places as a result of well-entrenched conspiracy to hijack Rivers and Akwa Ibom States by the leadership of the APC. APC should bear in mind that Nigeria is experiencing graveyard peace now, any ill-conceived actions to truncate the will of the people in South-East/South-South who massively voted for President Goodluck Jonathan and his party, PDP during the general elections could amplify the echoes of secession emanating from these regions which could spell doom for this nation.

Nwobodo Chidiebere wrote in from Abuja

Chidieberenwobodo@yahoo.com

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