The leadership of the African Action Congress(AAC) has raised the alarm over the plot to reconstitute the Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal currently sitting in Port Harcourt.
In a press briefing in Abuja yesterday, chairman of the party,Dr. Leonard Nzenwa,said the leadership of the party has intercepted a letter written by one Tawo E. Tawo, on behalf Awara Biokpomabo Festus, the governorship candidate of the party at the 2019 general elections without consultations with the party and without notice to all other parties involved in the election petition to the president of the court of appeal seeking the reconstitution of the panel.
He recalled that following unexplained circumstances, the first panel headed by Justice G.K. Kaigama, originally set up to hear governorship election petitions in Rivers State and which commenced sitting on May 7, 2019, stopped sitting on June 17, 2019, when a second panel was announced.
He further explained that this second panel headed by Justice K. A. Ojiako, commenced sitting on June 19, 2019.
He said, “We have at various fora complained about the hijack of the governorship ambition and race of Mr. Awara. Our worry is that while we do not have any worries anymore with what Mr. Awara does with his personal life, it is our worry and challenge that in this obnoxious plot by Mr. Awara and his paymasters, they have at every time dragged the good name of our great party into their evil plot.
“Our party did not go into the Rivers State governorship election with the intention to win as the prevailing circumstances then did not allow us to campaign.”
“Our party’s candidate did not campaign, the party did not have agents in most of the polling units in the state, hence our party is concerned that this hijack of our Governorship candidate by forces willing and ready to compromise the entire judiciary and which were done with the full consent and connivance of our former National Chairman, Mr. Omoyele Sowore are not in the interest of the people of Nigeria and good people of Rivers State particularly.
“ The said letter by the Mr. Awara was surreptitiously sent to the office of the President of the Court of Appeal against the normal practice for the Respondents and indeed all parties in the election petition to be copied the letter. It must be mentioned that the Order of the Court of Appeal did not also include the reconstitution of the Tribunal that is to hear the matter as wrongfully contained in the letter.
“ let it be made clear for all Nigerians and the whole world to know that the African Action Congress is not part of the demand for a reconstitution of the Tribunal.
He further explained that” we take this position because Mr. Awara has boasted that the current panel will be disbanded and a new one reconstituted.
“He claims he demanded for the disbandment of the original panel and that he will do it again. He insists that his contact has assured him that the panel will be disbanded.
“These claims and the actions of Mr. Awara go a long way to taint the integrity of the office of the President of the Court of Appeal and decisive action must be taken including allowing the current Tribunal panel to sit and conclude this matter thereby ending the empty boasts.
“ The integrity of the Nigerian judiciary cannot and must not be sacrificed on the altar of the over bloated interests and ambitions of a political demagogue seeking to restore and continue his stranglehold on the resources of the people of Rivers State so as to oil the machinery of an imaginary and phantom 2023 Presidential ambition,” he stated.
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