Abia State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has congratulated Col. Austin Akobundu, the party’s Senatorial candidate in the Abia Central Senatorial zone on his victory at the Appeal Court.
This is even as the PDP said it has uncovered a plot by the Labour Party (LP) to cause mayhem in the state following the removal of its candidate, Darlington Nwokocha, who was the Senate Minority Chief Whip before the judgement that saw Akobundu defeat him.
Recall that Mr Darlington Nwokocha of LP was declared the winner of the Abia Central Senatorial election following the February 25, 2023, National Assembly elections. This led to a petition by Akobundu at the Abia State National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal which equally upheld the election of Nwokocha.
Dissatisfied with the judgement of the Tribunal, Akobundu appealed the judgment of the lower court at the Court of Appeal which vacated the judgment of the Tribunal and pronounced Akobundu as the authentic winner of the Abia Central Senatorial zone election.
Elder Abraham Amah, Abia PDP Vice Chairman/Acting State Publicity Secretary said his party has come across two disturbing documents with one of the documents in circulation on social media from the Labour Party in Ikwuano, calling on its members to a solidarity rally in black clothes to protest the judgement of the Court of Appeal.
According to Amah, “This is unheard of in the history of our democracy that a political party would call its members to protest the judgement of a court.
“Another document is the press conference addressed by the Chairman of Abia Labour Party, Mr. Cheeky Igara wherein he assumed the position of Judge Extraordinaire to lecture Abians, Nigerians and the press on why the judgement of a validly constituted court should not stand because a member of his party was removed from office.
Amah said that it is extremely disturbing to hear the Abia LP Chairman refer to a judgement of a court of competent jurisdiction with derogatory words like, “the rascality of the judiciary, especially muscling judgements, divisive judgements.”
He said that such actions are unbecoming of a Party to make a public declaration to reject the judgement of a court of competent and final jurisdiction and ask it to review its judgement because that is nothing but a call to anarchy.
“These infractions on the law by the Labour Party are jokes taken too far and it seems that the Labour Party is unaware of the actionable nature of their actions.
“In the first place, the Labour Party is quite ignorant of the fact that Abia PDP had 19 grounds of appeal, most of which the Labour Party could not defend against, which bother on noncompliance to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the 2022 Electoral Act as Amended. Their attempts to reduce the petition of the PDP to Section 77 of the Electoral Act is a careless and unforgivable display of ignorance.
“The Labour Party also refused to understand that a Court of Appeal had also determined that Section 77 of the Electoral Act is both a pre-election and post-election matter.
“Furthermore, the Labour Party also conveniently ignored the fact that the Court of Appeal also took cognizance of the rejected votes in some polling units which was on the petition of the PDP.”
Amah said that a more grievous display of ignorance is the inability of the Labour Party to provide a copy of the judgement to members of the Press even while making wild claims of reversal in sane breathe.
Je said that it is quite unfortunate that the Labour Party would stay mute when judgements go in its favour but prefer to bully society whenever a judgement goes against it.
“Since 1999 when Nigeria returned to democracy and the 24 years it was in power in Abia State, the PDP never disobeyed any court order nor did it ever call its members out to protest the judgement of a court.
“Following these developments, the Abia PDP is compelled to alert the security agencies in Abia State of the devious plans of the Labour Party to cause a breach of the peace in the State.
“The Abia PDP has consistently said that the Labour Party in Abia State portrays itself as a reckless organisation that does not respect the laws and has the tendency to push the State into the hands of autocrats and the events of today do nothing but to validate our proposition.
“Once again, we call on the vigilant security agencies in Abia to forestall any breakdown of law and order in the State by
restraining the Labour Party from acts inimical to the peace of the State and cautioning its leadership from statements capable of causing mayhem and a breakdown of law and order in Abia.
“We also call on members of the PDP to remain calm, peaceful and law-abiding even as we ask the good people of Ikwuano to call their children and wards to order and prevent them from engaging in acts that may lead to a crisis in the State.”