Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 21 October 2015 | 3,188 times
The Abia State Government has described as counter-productive, the antics of the opposition to allegedly foment trouble and create an atmosphere of insecurity while the elections petition panels sat in the state as the tribunals have successfully concluded their sittings peacefully.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu who made this observation in Umuahia yesterday, commended the tribunals for working conscientiously on all cases brought before it and berated the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for allegedly trying to malign the integrity of the judges on the panels.
Three panels were despatched to Abia to handle petitions arising from the 2015 general elections in the state. While two of the panels sat over petitions filed by aggrieved candidates over the outcome of the National Assembly and State House of Assembly polls, one was saddled with resolving issues revolving around the governorship contest.
With the national assembly tribunals having concluded their sittings and delivered rulings on petitions brought before them and the Governorship petitions tribunal reserving judgement, the governor said he was happy that the panelists stayed in Abia without incidents as opposed to the sense of insecurity being promoted by the opposition which intended to incite the people and heat up the polity.
The governor who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Godwin Adindu, commended the tribunals for “the painstaking efforts they have taken to look at the issues before them at the tribunal and the verdicts they have given so far.”
He welcomed their rulings, saying: “The judgements are acceptable to Abia people, Abia people are happy with their sense of judgement and Abia people believe that they have dispensed justice accordingly.”
“We believe that the tribunals have done justice to all petitions brought before them. Abia people believe that all matters that were brought before the tribunals have been well addressed and well attended to and the judgements given so far, we believe that they are fair to all concerned,” he added.
The governor restated that Abia people would continue to have high respect for the rule of law and the judiciary, stressing: “We believe that the judiciary remains the last bastion of hope for the masses.”
The governor’s spokesman said government strongly condemned attempts by the opposition to malign the character and integrity of the honourable jurists of the Abia elections petition tribunals which came by way of sponsored advertorials in some national dailies.
His words: “We say that the statement that have been attributed to such elements (opposition) alleging that the honourable jurists were compromised, were bribed with monetary gratifications, and even houses bought for them overseas to induce them to tamper justice, such comments are very regrettable and uncalled for.
“We, therefore, call on such elements to desìst from making such unguarded and unverifiable statements that would go far to portray them as irresponsible citizens of this country.”
Adindu urged those not satisfied with the outcome at the tribunals to proceed to the Appeal Court. “Since there is still a window in the Appeal Court to seek further redress, if anyone feels that his case or petition has not been well attended to. There was no need of inciting the public, there is no need for making unguarded utterances that are capable of heating up the polity and creating an atmosphere of unrest within the Abia polity,” he noted.
Blaming APGA for alleged attempts to create a sense of insecurity in Abia, Adindu said: “We, therefore, condemn the actions that have been exhibited by such elements, mainly the opposition party in this state, which is APGA,” accusing the party of equally “running serial newspaper advertorials in major national dailies on Friday, October 16, 2015 and on Sunday, October 18, 2015 in which they openly accused the tribunal of having been compromised and even calling for the jailing and execution of the jurists.” “Such campaigns of calumny was not expected of such calibre of people in this state,” he said, adding: “We are also surprised that, even after having personally authored and signed one of such advertorials, the chairman of APGA, in the open tribunal yesterday, blatantly denied knowledge of such advertorial. Such contradiction only portrayed him as somebody of undependable character.”
He said further: “We see the whole actions so far taken in the last few days as a calculated attempt to incite the Abia public to heat up the Abia polity and create an atmosphere of pandemonium and also to incite the tribunal into altering the course of justice and we are happy that all these things have been counter-productive. We have had a very peaceful tribunal session.”
•Photo shows Governor Ikpeazu.
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