Umahi VS PDP, LP: Group Urges Appeal Court to Be Firm, Rule on Point of law
A social rights group, the Worried Nigerian Citizens (WNC), has called on the 3-man appeal panel headed Justice B.A. Georgwill that is adjudicating the appeals of the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Michael Amah Nnachi and Hon. Linus Okorie of the Labour Party (LP) not to succumb to an alleged pressure to miscarry justice.
In a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja and signed by the Convener of the group, Mazi Moses Idika, the WNC while commending the President of the Court of Appeal for the radical decision she took to reinforce the confidence of the Nigeria public in the country’s judiciary also called on the judges handling the appeals in both Abuja and Lagos divisions of the appellate court to remain firm on the side of the law.
“We wish to use this medium to thank and commend the President of the Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Monica Bolna’an Dongban-Mensem for the proactive steps she has taken to restore the confidence of Nigerians in our judicial system.
“We note with excitement the decision of the Court of Appeal to streamline the adjudication of the appeal cases emanating from the various States and National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunals, which has effected radically the belief of Nigerians that indeed the judiciary remains the last hope of the people,” the statement read in part.
However, expressing concern on an alleged heavy pressure being mounted on the panel hearing the appeal involving the former governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi and the candidates of the PDP an Labour Party, the group noted that it is in the best interest of democracy that the panel adjudicates the matter before it without any fear in the interest of democracy and the rule of law.
“We, however, note with concern the rumours making the rounds in some quarters that the former governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi has been making moves to reach the three member panel of judges involved in the adjudication of the appeals filed against the judgement of the Ebonyi State National and State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal on Ebonyi South Senate seat by the Senatorial candidates of the Labour Party (LP), Hon. Linus Okorie and Senator Michael Amah Nnachi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“Despite the rumours, we note with sense of assurance that the honourable justices have assured all parties that the matters brought before them will be decided on their merit and in line with established judicial precedents and ultimately in line with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as extant electoral laws.
Notwithstanding the WNC reiterated that, “Our implicit and explicit confidence in the Nigeria judicial system is unwavered and we urge the Justices and indeed officers of the Nigerian judiciary to note with solemnity that the hopes and aspirations of over 200 million Nigerians and especially the good people of Ebonyi South Senatorial District are invested in their non-partisan adjudication of these matters.”