500 Lawyers Storm Appeal Court Over Plateau PDP’s Attack On The Judiciary
…. say its evil to denigrate Nigeria’s defenceless justices
Over 500 lawyers this morning stormed the court of appeal in Abuja to demand an urgent end to the campaign of calumny against the justices of the court by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The lawyers unanimously said it is an evil act to continously denigrate the defenceless justices.
Led by the lawyer of Conscience, its Convener, Sylvanus Okpe said the actions of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are, at best, an assault on the judiciary due to the avalanche of sponsored diatribes against the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Plateau State.
He said as a body of lawyers dedicated to the defense of the rule of law and democracy in Nigeria, it wish to draw His Lordship’s attention to the implication of the actions of the PDP on the reputation and integrity of the Court of Appeal.
“While it is succinct to state that the Justices of the Court of Appeal delivered a sound judgment in line with the provisions of the law, the diatribe perpetuated by the PDP smacks of mockery and an attempt to ridicule the judiciary.
“It must be stated that the PDP acted in breach of a subsisting court order in a suit marked PLD/J/304/2021, which directed it to conduct a fresh Congress involving all the 17 Local Government Areas in Plateau State.
“The implication of a breach of a subsisting court order amounts to a lack of party structure, which is a breach of Section 84 (13) of the Electoral Act as amended, “where a political party fails to comply with the provisions of this Act in the conduct of its primaries, its candidate for election shall not be included in the election for the particular position in issue.”
“As His Lordship may be aware, the violation implies that the PDP candidates in the National Assembly elections could be regarded as null and void for lacking party structure” he said
The Supreme Court, in its ruling in May 2019, nullified the elections of all the candidates of the All Progressives Congress in Zamfara State in the 2019 general elections for failing to conduct primaries. This conformed to the provisions of the law that held that political parties must conduct ward congresses. As in the case of Zamfara state, the All Progressive Congress didn’t have a structure, so the nominations of candidates for elections were null and void.
Okpe said It has become a stock in trade of the PDP to sacrifice facts on the altar of selfishness in an insatiable quest to build something on nothing, as in the case of Plateau State. This much has been evident in the serial campaign of calumny launched by the PDP against the rulings of the Court of Appeal.
“We observe that the ultimate aim is to cause disrepute to the Justices of the Court of Appeal and discredit the judiciary’s impartiality in Nigeria. This action is an affront and an assault that must be rebuffed.
“His Lordship may wish to be informed that the reputation and integrity of the appellate court is at stake. The issues canvassed by the PDP lack merit and substance, and as such, the judiciary must not succumb to blackmail to ensure that Justice is served.
“We’d like to call on His Lordship to stand firm in defence of the sanctity of the appellate court in the dispensation of Justice. The impartiality of the judiciary in Nigeria is never in doubt. An independent, strong, respected, and respectable judiciary is indispensable for the impartial administration of Justice in a democratic State.
“Lessons must be learned on the implications of flouting court orders. Contempt of court is an affront to the authority and dignity of the court. A court order must be obeyed until it is set aside on appeal. There is no evidence that the subsisting court order in the conduct of fresh ward congress for the PDP in Plateau state was appealed.
“His Lordship may wish to grant our prayers that the Court of Appeal rejects the position of the PDP in Plateau state with regards to the outcome of the judgement of the Court of Appeal sacking PDP members of the National Assembly for lack of party structure that rendered their eligibility to stand for election null and void” he said