The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the National Judicial Council to probe the sudden relocation of the sitting of the Osun Governorship Election petition Tribunal to the Federal Capital, Abuja.
The party also described the relocation as another sign that there is a desperate and evil plan by some forces to implement alleged pre-written script on the proceedings and outcome of its petition before the tribunal.
A statement issued and made available to newsmen in Osogbo yesterday by its state Chairman, Hon Soji Adagunodo said though it was not shocked by the relocation of the sitting of the tribunal away from Osogbo, the State capital, it was disappointed that a very important institution like the Judiciary would allow itself to be cheaply manipulated by unscrupulous elements in the political space.
The PDP recalled that the new panel was constituted in a very controversial manner by the President of the Court of Appeal whose family affinity with the All Progressives Congress has been an issue of concern to Nigerians who had wondered why the initial panel was disbanded without any justifiable reason.
“We believe that the decision to relocate the Tribunal sitting to Abuja was also without any justifiable reason because there had been no reports on any security breach neither had there been any other cogent factor that could have necessitated the action,” he said.
The party said it was very probable that those who took the decision without consultation with counsels of the petitioners did so partly to prevent the good people of Osun State from observing the proceedings of the tribunal and also to make it easier for the Federal authorities to influence its outcome.
“We want to remind Honourable members of the tribunal of the dictum of the eminent jurist Niki Tobi JSC that, “The true test of a fair hearing is the impression of a reasonable person who was present at the trial whether from his observation justice has been done.
“We also reiterate that apart from the Court of public opinion which the conduct of the tribunal will be subjected to, there is also a burden on the tribunal members to justify the expectations of God from those who hold such sacred offices and who are called upon to do justice without fear or favour.
“On our part as a party, we will continue to invite the attention of the National Judicial Council, Leaders of thought and the international community to the happenings in Osun State and state what these portend for the 2019 general elections in Nigeria and the stability of the country as a whole.
“We are hopeful that the concerned persons and authorities will act speedily on this matter and restore the hope of the common man in Osun State in the judicial process as an aftermath of the last governorship election. “ Adagunodo said.