Tony Ita Etim, Port Harcourt
The Rivers State Governor, Barrrister Nyesom Wike has decried the judgment of the Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal verdict of the April 2015 governorship elections in the state.
Speaking through Sir Opunabo Inko-Tariah, Wike’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, the governor described the verdict of the tribunal as selective.
According to Wike, ” it is incomprehensible and heart rending that two distinct judgments on a similar issue can co-exist in the breasts of the same tribunal. This is staggering.
“Selective justice is tantamount to injustice. However, that the APC will occupy the government house is a mirage and shall remain a flitting illusion. The insidious verdict is a fad and after savouring the euphoria of the victory with a short life span, they will come to terms with reality.
“The tempest of justice cannot blow fitfully in our tribunals. I have the settled conviction that sagacity shall eventually prevail. The tribunal’s ratio decided surfers from a twin Ill of eclipse of reasoning and poverty of logic and shall be subjected to the clinical prognosis of the lab of the Court of Appeal. I advise our teeming supporters not to be distraught and also remain calm. Remember, after thunder, comes rain.
“The mandate freely given to Governor, Nyesom Wike, CON, by the electorate can never be stolen under any guise. It is irrefragable that Governor Wike’s refreshing initiatives and policy articulations have helped refuel the ethos of good governance within four months. This is a man who stopped APC’s march of conquest, terror and subjugation as he navigated us through the stormy waters to this point of safety. We shall all say no to retrogression if we must secure the future of our children and generations unborn.”
On an allegation by Rotimi Amaechi that Governor Wike borrowed N45billion to line his pocket, Inko-Tariah, sated that “it is laughable. Amaechi himself in one of his speeches said Governor Wike will inherit an empty treasury which was fleeced dry by him. Therefore, if Governor Wike who inherited an empty treasury could achieve the level of infrastructural development we are witnessing today and can also clear the pecuniary but unjustifiable liabilities he inherited from Amaechi as evinced in his inculpatory speech, where then did he get the money from to do all that have put smiles on the faces of Rivers people who were despondent and frustrated under Amaechi if not with the loans he collected with the imprimatur of the House Of Assembly?. This obviates the need for any further evidence that the loans collected were judiciously applied and in tandem with the reasons for which they were collected.
“The allegation has no ounce of truth in it. Rivers people are quite intelligent to be deluded by such cheap lies,” Inko-Tariah submitted.
In a related development, he All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers State has condemned what it described as PDP’s declaration of war against the Nigerian judiciary.
The condemnation was contained in a press release signed he State Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Chris Finebone.
According to Finebone, the “APC is shocked at how the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] has launched out on large-scale smear campaign on the Nigerian judiciary following very recent court pronouncements that appear not to favour the PDP and their candidates at the various election petition tribunals especially the Akwa Ibom State and Rivers State governorship election petition tribunals.
“In what is unfolding as an all out war, the PDP National Working Committee [NWC], National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh and the various chapters of the PDP in Rivers and Akwa Ibom States, have already thrown every caution in the rule book to the wind in the way they are casting aspersions on the integrity of respected members of the bench whose only offence is that their meticulous and balanced judgments have exposed PDP’s fraudulent and violent escapades during the 2015 general elections,” the statement alleged.
The party “recall that prior to last week, the APC have had a number of rulings go against the party and its candidates at the various national assembly election petition tribunals especially for Rivers State where over 90 percent of the rulings favoured the PDP and its candidates. Neither the APC National Working Committee [NWC] nor the various affected state chapters of the party came out to impugn the integrity of our judiciary. The APC took those outcomes with equanimity and proceeded on appeal in most cases without declaring and levying war on the judiciary the way the PDP is doing now.”
The APC observed that “Particularly, the PDP and their members in Rivers State, including even lawyers, have since Saturday launched various bitter tirades against the character and integrity of the Rivers State Election Petition Tribunal members. Some have openly tried to establish family and marital relationship between the tribunal chairman and some top government officials, knowing same to be false, mendacious and malicious. The APC is still stunned that the Spokesman of the Rivers State Governor, Mr. Opunabo Inko-Tariah would state that, “The tribunal has delivered the ruling it was asked to deliver.” The APC condemns this kind of unguarded vituperation by a government official against a tribunal of eminent judges.
“In summary, the APC understands that by turning to destroy the Nigerian judiciary, the PDP is only employing its usual tactics of intimidation and blackmail whenever their members find themselves at the wrong end of the law, whether over corruption cases or electoral matters as is the present case. This motive common with bandits and buccaneers have proven to fail the PDP in the past and will surely fail them this time around,” Finebone stated.