Tribunal : APC, PDP Bicker Over Rivers Lawmakers’ Petition
The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Thursday described as deceitful, obstructionist and provocative the petition written to President Muhammadu Buhari by the 16 Peoples Democratic Party federal lawmakers from Rivers State over the State’s Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, saying those who are blatantly obstructing the course of justice are the same ones now trying to play the victim.
In a statement issued in Abuja by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said despite the order from the Tribunal, the duo of Rivers State PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission in the state have colluded to ensure that the APC neither gets the certified true copies of requested documents nor inspect the electoral materials used for the governorship poll.
The party said: “Because we are a law-abiding party, unlike the anarchists in the PDP and their flagrant INEC collaborators, we reported this to the Tribunal, which then said it was not up to it to enforce the order given earlier. This was why we reported to the security agencies, especially the Police and the Department of State Services.
Even though the Police IG intervened to ensure that the order of the Tribunal was carried out, the Rivers INEC still refused. This was why the DSS, seeking to prevent a breakdown of law and order that could result from the intransigence of the Rivers INEC, now invited the obstructionists to impress it upon them to carry out the order of the Tribunal. Despite these efforts, the order has still not been complied with till today.
The APC also denied that the military was being used to intimidate anyone, saying it only subpoenaed the soldiers who played a major role in the elections not only in Rivers State but in the entire Niger Delta region, in view of the violence unleashed by the PDP on APC supporters before, during and after the elections.
The statement by Mohammed added: “Nigerians can now see that there is no truth whatsoever in the petition written by the intrusive Rivers PDP Senators and House of Representatives members that the DSS and the military were being used to obstruct justice. What the petitioners are seeking to do is to pull the wool over the eyes of Nigerians.”
In its reaction, the PDP described as failed cheap blackmail and an infantile attempt by the APC to cover its illegality of using state security agencies to attempt to subvert the victory of the PDP in the governorship election in the state.
The party said that APC’s reaction to the petition written to President Muhammadu Buhari by 16 PDP federal lawmakers from Rivers state, shows its desperation to grab power through the back door, in a state where it was roundly rejected by the electorates.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in a statement on Thursday said the APC’s statement was aimed at blackmailing judicial and electoral officers in the state as well as to justify the reprehensible use of the security agencies to intimidate and attempt to arm-twist them to do its bidding.
“The PDP invites Nigerians to continue to note the various antics of the APC in its desperate scheme to corrupt the judicial process and steal the mandate freely given to the PDP by the people of Rivers state, including the use of operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) and the military to hound and intimidate INEC and judicial officers to get them to do their bidding.
“We are also aware of all the clandestine moves by the APC to capture power in Rivers and other PDP states, including Akwa-Ibom, Delta, Abia and Taraba states by all means, using such ploy” the party said.