The All Progressives Congress (APC) has denied media reports alleging that the Presidency manipulate d the judiciary in Saturday’s judgment of the Taraba Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.
This is contained in a statement issued by Alhaji Lai Mohammed, its National Publicity Secretary in Lagos on Sunday.
“President Muhammadu Buhari and his party, the APC are strong believers in the rule of law, as against the rule of impunity, hence will never manipulate the judiciary for whatever reason.’’
The APC blamed the People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) loss at the election tribunal on impunity.
“From the judgment of the tribunal, it is clear that the impunity of the PDP cost it the election.
“Not only did the party breach Section 78 (b) (1) (2) of the Elector*l Act concerning the organisation of party primaries, it was not even deemed to have participated in the April 11 governorship election in Taraba State in the eyes of the law.
“Apart from not complying with the Elector*l Act, the election of the PDP candidate, Mr Darius Ishaku, in the purported primaries in Abuja was done after the stipulated time for party primaries had elapsed.
“According to the tribunal, it is thus clear that the election result in Taraba was not annulled for any other reason but the impunity and recklessness that permeated the life and times of the cadaverous PDP.
“It is noteworthy that this is not the first time the court is ruling against PDP’s impunity of violating its own constitutional provisions and the Elector*l Act with regards to ensuring internal democracy in the conduct of primary elections.
“The first landmark judgment came from the Supreme Court when it ruled against PDP’s impunity in 2007 and ordered that Rotimi Amaechi be installed as governor of Rivers instead of Celestine Omehia who was illegally imposed.
“Secondly, the Supreme Court had also ruled against PDP in the case of Ifeanyi Ararume when the party took his mandate as validly elected governorship candidate and handed it over to another aspirant.
“It is instructive to note that these judgments took place while the PDP was in control of the Presidency.
“The opposition parties then never questioned the integrity of the judiciary by making wild and weighty allegations as the PDP is doing now,’’ the party stated.
The APC stated that the PDP should blame itself for its gross impunity with regards to the conduct of primary elections for Taraba.
“If all political parties, including the APC which was then in opposition could hold their primaries in the state, why would the PDP that was in control of the state government come down to Abuja for its primaries against the provisions of the Elector*l Act and the PDP constitution?
“The impunity was not only in the case of Taraba State because the PDP also moved its governorship primaries for Borno and Adamawa States to Abuja in breach of the Elector*l Act.
“The irony is that, whereas the PDP claimed that the primaries where shifted to Abuja because the capitals of Taraba, Borno and Adamawa States where not safe for primary elections, it held Presidential campaigns in the same capitals of the affected states,’’ the APC stated.