Gov’ship tussle: PDP protests in states, demands reversal of Imo judgment

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus
  • Want Trump to place CJN, panel members on visa ban

Members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday staged protests in states to express their displeasure over Tuesday’s judgment of the Supreme Court on the Imo governorship election.

The apex court had sacked PDP’s Emeka Ihedioha and declared Senator Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the March 9 governorship election in the state.

The protests, our correspondents report were in compliance with the directive of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP. Uzodinma had since assumed office.

In Abia State, our correspondent reports that the protest was held peacefully by the PDP supporters.

The state PDP chairman, Johnson Onuigbo described the judgment as an attempt to destroy the nation’s democracy.

He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to allow the judiciary function independently to save Nigeria from “international embarrassment”.

In Ogun, a faction of the party protested against the judgment, describing it as a “fraud.”

The chairman of the faction backed by the national leadership of PDP, Sikirulai Ogundele, led members of the party in the protest in Abeokuta, demanding a review and reversal of the judgment in the interest of justice.

The protesting PDP members in their hundreds took to the streets, singing solidarity songs and carried placards with various inscriptions to drive home their grievances.

Some of the inscriptions read ‘Imo judgement is a fraud’, ‘Our judicial system is not a department of the APC’, ‘Stop robbing PDP of its mandate’, ‘Stop influencing the judiciary’, ‘Stop compromising our judiciary’, ‘Ogun PDP says no to injustice’, among others.

Also, the Anambra State chapter of the PDP yesterday protested the Imo State governorship election judgement, demanding the apex court to reverse itself within seven days.

However, during the protest, the PDP bigwigs including Senator Uche Ekwunife Senator Stella Oduah, Obinna Chidoka and all the PDP governorship aspirants for Anambra 2021 governorship election were absent.

Speaking during the protest, the state PDP chairman, Chief Ndubisi Nwobu, asked the apex court panel to reverse itself within seven days or face serious protest to right the wrong.

In Taraba, after the protest, the state chairman of the party, Mr. Victor Bala Kona, said, “the injustice by the Supreme Court under the Chief Justice of Nigeria showed  that the court is no longer the last hope of a common man in Nigeria.”

Some resident in Owerri, the Imo state capital took to the streets protesting the Supreme Court judgement. The protesters, said to be mostly members of the PDP wore black attires saying that they were not happy that Ihedioha was removed by the court.

Mobilise for Abuja today

For today, the party has directed it members to stage a peaceful protest in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

A member of the National Working Committee (NWC) told our correspondent yesterday in Abuja, that  the PDP protesters are going to be led by the party’s National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus. They will first converge at the PDP Presidential Campaign Office, popularly called Legacy House, Maitama before moving to other locations.

He said all members of the NWC, Board of Trustees (BoT), National Assembly Caucus, Nation Executive Committee (NEC), former governors and other stakeholders are to be part of the protest.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan told Daily Trust yesterday that the protest was not only about the apex court’s decision on Imo, but also in consideration of the pending cases regarding the PDP in court.

At the time of filing this report, party leaders were holding a strategy meeting in Abuja, on how to have a scintillating outing.

Place CJN, panel members on visa ban, Trump urged

Meanwhile, a group of Imo indigenes abroad has petitioned President Donald Trump to place on visa ban the seven Supreme Court justices who unanimously declared Uzodinma as the winner of the March 9, 2019 governorship election.

The Imo Diaspora Coalition for Justice and Democracy in a petition, in which they seek 1000 signatures, have asked President Trump to place the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad, Sylvester Ngwuta, Kudirat Kekekere-Ekun, Olukayode Ariwoola, Amiru Sanusi, Amina Augie and Uwani Abba-Aji on “visa ban” or “no fly zone”.

The group alleged that fake results were added to the total accredited voters in the state which was 823,743 out of which only 714,355 voted to now become 928,054 votes.

They therefore asked the Supreme Court to reverse the judgment saying, “Nigeria’s legal system allows for the Supreme Court to reverse itself in certain circumstances, including where the judgment was obtained by fraudulent representation as in the case herein.”

However, another group, the Imo Diasporas Support for Senator Hope Uzodinma 2019, said they knew the former senator won the election and had confidence that the judiciary would rescue the mandate.

In a statement sent from Finland by the coordinator, Chief Nnnanna Okere and made available to newsmen in Abuja yesterday, the group declared that Uzodinma has all that it takes to transform the state and restore it to its past glory and in line with the foundation laid by its founding fathers like the late former governor of the state, Chief Sam Mbakwe.

S/Court usurped powers of INEC -Activists

On its part, the Alliance for Preservation of Democracy (APD), said the declaration of Uzodinma as governor of the state, was a usurpation of the powers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Mr. Lemmy Ughegbe, who spoke on behalf of others, at a news conference on Sunday in Abuja said Nigeria currently stands at judicial crossroads and warned that if not addressed, that will erode the values of reprieve, justice and faith in the judiciary.

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