The last has not been heard of the February 2023 presidential election as the Labour Party (LP) on Tuesday accused the Supreme Court of denying Peter Obi, the party’s presidential candidate fair hearing by joining his appeal against the ruling of the appellate court with that of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In a statement on Tuesday signed by the party’s national secretary, Umar Ibrahim, the LP said the Supreme Court refused to deliver appropriate judgment on Obi’s appeal, describing it as embarrassing.
The statement said, “The Supreme Court issued a hearing notice dated 25th October 2023, notifying the Labour Party (LP) and its candidate in the Presidential Election, Mr Peter Obi, that judgment would be delivered in their appeal to the Supreme Court in Appeal No. SC/CV/937/2023 on Thursday, 26th October, 2023.
“On the 26th of October, 2023, LP and her lawyers were in Court. The Supreme Court proceeded to read the judgment in Appeal No. SC/CV/935/2023 filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). After that, the Presiding Justice, His Lordship John Inyang Okoro JSC, verbally stated that the decision in the LP appeal would abide by the judgment just delivered in respect of the PDP appeal!
“The LP finds the position taken by the Supreme Court regarding the judgment in her appeal extraordinary, terribly shocking, most unprecedented, and unacceptable for the following reasons:
“The appeals filed by both the PDP and LP from the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court were two distinct appeals which emanated from two separate judgments of the Court of Appeal.
“The two appeals were not even consolidated at the Supreme Court but were heard separately.
“At the separate hearing of both appeals, the question was never raised, the parties never agreed, and the Court neither gave a directive nor ordered that the judgment in one appeal would abide by the decision in the other!
“The petitions from where the two appeals arose were heard separately at the Court of Appeal based on separate pleadings and different sets of witnesses. Thus, the facts of the two petitions were remarkably different.
“The only issue where the parties agreed in the two appeals was 25% votes in Abuja. The other issues submitted to the Supreme Court for determination in the two appeals differed remarkably. By way of illustrations, we draw attention to some of the issues:
“Forfeiture of funds being proceeds of narcotics trafficking contained in the LP petition (and not in the reply);
“Double nomination of the 3rd Respondent (who was not even a party in the PDP petition);
“Failure to comply with the mandatory requirement of Section 73(2) of the Electoral Act, 2022, the consequence of which the provision stipulates, renders the election invalid.
“The effect of the certified true copies of 18,123 blurred and unreadable polling unit result sheets (Form EC8As) downloaded from the IReV, issued by the NEC to the LP and its candidate which they tendered in Court. Some were blank A4 papers, pictures, and images of unknown persons. They were purported to be copies of polling unit results. Even with the materiality of the issue, the Court of Appeal evaded making a finding on it.
“They were all part of the LP appeal but not that of the PDP appeal.
“The LP had, out of an abundance of caution, by letter dated 26th October 2023, applied to the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court for the certified true copy of the judgment in the LP appeal. There was a reminder through a letter on 8th November 2023. However, to date, the requests have been ignored.”
The LP noted that the Supreme Court failed to furnish all parties with duly authenticated copies of its judgment within seven days of the delivery as provided by Section 294(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“In conclusion, the LP finds it very embarrassing and depressing that the Supreme Court would, after hearing the appeal by our party, refuse to deliver any judgment and also fail to avail our party of any copy of whatever it considers to be its decision.
“With every sense of responsibility, the LP believes that the Supreme Court’s conduct is regrettable and unprecedented. This constitutes an unmitigated breach of the constitutional right of LP and her candidate to a fair hearing,” the statement added.
BREAKING: INEC Chair, Tor Tiv, Others Arrive For Constitutional Review Committee Inauguration
The House of Representatives Committee on Constitution Review will now convene following the arrival of Prof Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, former Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, and Tor Tiv, Professor James Ayatse.
The 37-man committee, comprised of one representative from each of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, met for the first time a few weeks ago at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja.
The committee, led by Benjamin Kalu, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, is expected to revisit contentious issues such as state police, decentralisation of powers to federating units, local government autonomy, and power rotation among the six geopolitical zones, among others.
President Bola Tinubu, Senate President Godswill Akpabio, and several other leaders are expected to attend the event.
Otti Salutes Olumide Akpata For Emerging LP Governorship Candidate In Edo
Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, has congratulated Olumide Akpata on his emergence as the Labour Party (LP) candidate in the governorship election in Edo State, slated for September 21, 2024.
Akpata, a lawyer and former National President of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) emerged winner of the LP governorship primary election which held on Friday, February 23, 2024, in Benin, capital of Edo State, after scoring 316 votes to beat other aspirants.
He was declared winner by the Deputy Governor of Abia State, Ikechukwu Emetu, who chaired the election committee.
According to Kazie Uko, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Otti also congratulated the LP’s Governorship Primary Election Committee for conducting a credible and transparent election.
He particularly commended his Deputy, Emetu and an engineer for dutifully performing his role as the Returning Officer.
The Governor, according to a statement issued from his office, expressed gladness that the primary election was conducted in an atmosphere of peace and has been adjudged as free, fair and credible by majority of the aspirants who participated, a remarkable departure from stories coming from the camps of other political parties.
While describing the entire process as being in consonance with the philosophy of LP, which is equity, fairness and justice, the Abia State Governor equally congratulated the other aspirants for exhibiting the spirit of sportsmanship and called on them to support Akpata in the journey to claim Edo State for Labour Party.
“Now that the primaries are over, I call on all the aspirants, and indeed our party members in Edo State, to rally behind our candidate as we embark on the journey to take ov er the Government House in Benin,” Governor Otti appealed.
Furthermore,, he commended the leadership of the party at both State and National levels for working hard to ensure a peaceful electioneering process.
Ignore The Rumour, Obi Not Quitting Labour Party, Berates Mischief Makers
The Peter Obi Media Reach, POMR wishes to outrightly dismiss trending fake and fallacious news story suggesting that he was parting ways with the Labour Party.
This is not true and it did not originate from Obi or the Obedient Movement but from mischief makers bent on sowing the seed of discord in the party.
In a statement from his Media Aide, Michael Jude Nwolisa, these rising misdemeanours on the party did not start today as they set out to destroy and disorganize the party all to get at Obi and derail the inevitable journey of rescuing Nigeria.
Presently our principal is preoccupied with making Nigeria work not on partisan politics which ended on October 26, 2023, when the Supreme Court of the land took their final decision on the general elections.
Those bent on creating a crisis in the Labour Party are enemies of democracy wishing for the failed status quo to remain.
OBI’s focus at the moment is on creating an environment where democracy is to be practised according to the defined tenets not the rascality and all forms of impunity prevalent in the country today
Peter Obi therefore would like to assure Nigerians, particularly the Obidient family that his way with Labour is unshaken and intact and that the struggle to rescue Nigeria from the criminal gangs holding it down will not stop until it’s achieved through the will of the Nigerian people.
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