Imo election: Lagos PDP protests Supreme Court ruling

Chieftains of Lagos State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), including its chairman, Engr. Deji Doherty; former Minister of Cooperation and Integration in Africa, Dr. Abimbola Ogunkelu; Captain Tunji Selleh, among others on Tuesday, led a peaceful street protest against the Supreme Court judgment, which sacked Emeka Ihedioha and gave Imo State governor’s seat to Hope Uzodinma.

The party chieftain and members, who were also joined by South- East community in Lagos, who marched the streets from the party secretariat in Sogunle down to Ikeja High Court, where they later presented a petition to the Lagos State Chief Judge, were seen carrying banners and placards with various inscriptions such as: “Buhari, don’t destroy the Judiciary, “Nigerians now know why former CJN Walter Onnoghen was removed,” “Nigerian democracy must not be destroyed by the APC,” among others.

Addressing journalists in front of Ikeja High Court, chairman of the party, Engr Doherty, said his party, PDP had not got justice in Imo State going by the latest judgment of the Apex court in the land, declaring that the Supreme Court had robbed not only the party but also the Nigerian people of good governance in the state.

The party chieftain, while saying that posterity would not allow such, noted that Nigerians were watching as, according to him, the country was now under siege.
“We have come to the end of this walk. We are in front of the Lagos State High Court, we are before the symbol of justice in the country. We have not gotten justice as far as Imo State is concerned. The Supreme Court has robbed us, has robbed the PDP, has robbed the Nigerian people of good governance in Imo State, and posterity will not allow it. This is our point.

“We know that Nigerians are watching. We are calling on all Nigerians, we are calling on all party faithful, we are calling on all leaders, our elders, traditional rulers, religious leaders that Nigeria is under a siege,” he said.

Doherty lamented that the country’s founding fathers never conceived that Nigeria would have a Supreme Court that goes beyond its bounds, does not listen to the lower courts, and does not listen even to the electoral body, calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure he left a legacy of one man, one vote and good voting pattern in the country as he embarked on his last tenure in office.

According to him, Buhari should ensure this because the electorates are not happy and are disenchanted, having lost confidence in the political system of this country.

“Our leaders, the founding fathers of this country never conceived that we would have a Supreme Court that goes beyond its bounds, that does not listen to the lower court, that does not listen to the Appeal Court; that does not listen even to the electoral body. We now call on Mr. President, this is your last tenure, you must leave a legacy. What is that legacy? A legacy of one man, one vote, and a good voting pattern in Nigeria.

“The electorates are not happy. They are disenchanted. They are losing confidence in the political system of this country,” Doherty said.

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The party chieftain, while warning that the country was on a sloppy ride and can only be pulled back from disintegration spiritually, urged the citizens to continue to be law-abiding, hopeful and prayerful “that the leaders that we have today shall see the reason to make sure that the electoral amendment bill is passed forthwith.”

“We know that the Supreme Court cannot change what they have done, but we ask for an inquest into how they arrived at a figure that is more than the accredited vote. Where did the different figures come from? Please ask them where did it come from? Are we going to accept it? No!” he queried.

“We will never take it again. This is a warning; the Lagos State PDP is warning that the situation may erupt; and if it erupts, no one may be able to stop it. We are calm, but don’t push us to the wall.

“Ladies and gentlemen, a word is enough for the wise. Where anything that goes up must come down,” he warned.

Also speaking with journalists, Dr. Ogunkelu, who is a former minister under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, said it stands to reason where the Supreme Court got its judgment from against the backdrop of the number of accredited voters by INEC becoming lower than one declared by the Apex Court to arrive at its verdict.

Ogunkelu, while noting that the Supreme Court had failed to even take care of the interest of those who took second and third positions in the last Imo governorship poll, contended that the Apex court, peopled by jurists and judges who are equally human, can still reverse itself as it had done in the past, warning that Nigeria cannot have a “situation where the judiciary is here to abrogate democracy.”

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“It stands to reason, there was an election in Imo State, then they went to court, the Tribunal judgment, the Court of Appeal judgment, they now got to Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court in their wisdom decided to overrule the lower courts. It’s their prerogative, but where the votes of INEC is now lower than the votes the Supreme Court is using to make the judgment, I think it stands to reason. That should be a prima facie cause for a re-run election rather than awarding the position to somebody who complained,” the former minister said.

“And I understand that in that election, the person they now call governor was in the fourth position, so what happened to the second and third positions? Their interest too has not been protected by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court can reverse itself, it has happened before. Supreme Court is people by jurists, judges who are also humans who can make mistakes, and if they make a mistake, they should be humble enough to reverse themselves and call for another election. We cannot have a situation where the judiciary is here to abrogate democracy. Judiciary is only one arm,” he warned.