The Peoples Democratic Party on Saturday said the judgment of the Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal sitting in Abuja showed clear bias against Governor Nyesom Wike and the party.
This is contained in a statement signed by PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh in Abuja.
“We, therefore, reassured that PDP will do all within the ambit of the law to resist attempt by the APC to thwart the will of the people,’’ he said.
Mr. Metuh said the tribunal’s verdict would not stand as it was “completely bizarre, unacceptable and part of the script by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to manipulate the will of the people’’.
He said the PDP had earlier revealed APC’s plot to use the judiciary and various security agencies to reverse PDP’s victory in Rivers, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Taraba and Abia.
Mr. Metuh said those plots culminated in the tribunal’s ruling on Rivers election as well as `the ridiculous Wednesday’s verdict’ of the Akwa-Ibom Governorship Election Tribunal also sitting in Abuja.
“The bias in the judgment against the PDP in Rivers as well as Akwa Ibom is evidenced in the contradictions inherent in the trial process of the two cases and the verdicts therein,’’ he said.
Mr. Metuh said the Akwa-Ibom and Rivers tribunals clearly disregarded standing legal norm, which states that a petitioner must establish prove of claims.
He said the tribunal based its judgment on the issues of card reader, even when both parties before the tribunal agreed that both card reader and manual accreditation were used for the election.
He said that the tribunal found it ‘’convenient to use legal technicalities to deny PDP victory in Imo, Lagos, Ogun and Yobe states.’’
According to the PDP image maker, ‘’the same rules are misapplied to wickedly favour APC petitioners in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states.’’
Mr. Metuh said the fact that less than 24 hours after counsel to the two parties submitted their written addresses and documents, the tribunal rushed its notice of judgment, further underlined its bias.
“This is ostensibly aimed at ambushing the pending Supreme Court action on the issue of jurisdiction regarding the relocation of the tribunal outside River state, due to be delivered on Tuesday.’’
Mr. Metuh said although the tribunal had up to seven days after receipt of addresses to deliver its judgment, it chose to rush to deliver its verdict, even on Saturday.
“This is a factor which portends great danger to our democracy and the stability of our country.
“PDP conceded electoral defeat in Edo, Anambra and Imo without attempting to collect victory through executive manipulation of the judicial process,” he said.
Mr. Metuh called on lovers of democracy, particularly PDP members in Rivers and Akwa Ibom state, not to be daunted.
According to him, the judgments against PDP will not stand the test of the law and the will of the people.