PDP extends its congratulations to Akobundu while claiming that the LP is orchestrating a scheme to provoke turmoil in Abia.

Busy Bee
Busy Bee November 8, 2023
Updated 2023/11/08 at 9:34 AM

The Abia State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) extends its congratulations to Col. Austin Akobundu (rtd), the PDP’s senatorial candidate in the Abia Central senatorial zone, for his victory at the Appeal Court. Meanwhile, the PDP has unveiled a concerning development: it has uncovered a plot by the Labour Party (LP) to incite chaos in the state in response to the removal of its candidate, Darlington Nwokocha, who held the position of Senate Minority Chief Whip before losing to Akobundu in a judicial ruling.

To provide context, Mr. Darlington Nwokocha of the LP was initially declared the winner of the Abia Central Senatorial election during the National Assembly elections on February 25, 2023. This prompted Akobundu to file a petition with the Abia State National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, which initially upheld Nwokocha’s election.

However, dissatisfied with the Tribunal’s decision, Akobundu appealed the ruling to the Court of Appeal, which subsequently overturned the Tribunal’s judgment and declared Akobundu as the rightful winner of the Abia Central Senatorial zone election.

Elder Abraham Amah, the Vice Chairman and Acting State Publicity Secretary of Abia PDP, expressed deep concern over the situation. He revealed that the PDP had come across two alarming documents. One of these documents, circulating on social media, was from the Labour Party in Ikwuano, calling on its members to participate in a solidarity rally wearing black clothes as a protest against the Court of Appeal’s judgment.

Amah emphasized that it is unprecedented in the history of democracy for a political party to urge its members to protest a court’s judgment. Another document that raised concerns was a press conference held by the Chairman of Abia Labour Party, Mr. Cheeky Igara, where Igara seemed to assume the role of an extraordinary judge. In the press conference, Igara attempted to explain why the judgment of a properly constituted court should not stand due to the removal of a member of his party from office.

Amah expressed his deep disapproval of the Abia LP Chairman’s use of derogatory language when referring to a judgment from a court of competent jurisdiction. Terms like “the rascality of the judiciary,” “muscling judgments,” and “divisive judgments” were employed, which Amah found highly inappropriate. He argued that such actions were unbecoming of a political party, as they amounted to a public declaration to reject the judgment of a court with the authority to decide on the matter, essentially calling for a state of anarchy.

“The Labour Party’s transgressions against the law have reached the point of absurdity, and it appears that they are oblivious to the legal consequences of their actions.

“First and foremost, the Labour Party seems unaware that the Abia PDP had raised 19 grounds of appeal, many of which the Labour Party failed to adequately address. These grounds revolved around violations of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the 2022 Electoral Act as amended.

“Their misguided attempt to narrow down the PDP’s petition to Section 77 of the Electoral Act reflects a careless and unforgivable display of ignorance.

“The Labour Party also failed to grasp that the Court of Appeal had ruled that Section 77 of the Electoral Act pertains to both pre-election and post-election matters.

“Furthermore, the Labour Party conveniently ignored the fact that the Court of Appeal had considered the issue of rejected votes in certain polling units as raised by the PDP in its petition.

“Amah pointed out that a more troubling display of ignorance is the Labour Party’s inability to provide a copy of the judgment to the press, despite making bold claims of a favorable outcome.

“It is regrettable that the Labour Party remains silent when judgments favor them but resorts to aggressive tactics when judgments go against them.

“Since the advent of democracy in Nigeria in 1999 and during its 24-year tenure in power in Abia State, the PDP has consistently adhered to court orders and has never incited its members to protest court judgments.

“In light of these developments, the Abia PDP feels compelled to alert the security agencies in Abia State about the Labour Party’s sinister intentions to disrupt the peace in the state.

“The Abia PDP has consistently asserted that the Labour Party in Abia State behaves recklessly, shows disregard for the law, and has the potential to lead the state into the hands of autocrats. The events of today only serve to validate our concerns.”

“Once more, we urge the diligent security agencies in Abia to prevent any disruptions of law and order within the state by restraining the Labor Party from engaging in actions detrimental to the state’s peace. We also encourage the party’s leadership to exercise caution in their statements to avoid inciting chaos and disorder in Abia.

Furthermore, we appeal to the PDP members to maintain their composure, adhere to the law, and remain peaceful. We kindly request the responsible citizens of Ikwuano to reach out to their children and wards, advising them to refrain from actions that could potentially escalate into a crisis in the state.”

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