The All Progressives Congress (APC) has described as deceitful, obstructionist and provocative the petition written to President Muhammadu Buhari by the 16 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) federal lawmakers from Rivers State over the State’s Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, saying those who are blatantly obstructing the course of justice are the same ones now trying to play the victim.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said despite the order from the Tribunal, the damnable duo of Rivers State PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission in the state have colluded to ensure that the APC neither gets the certified true copies of requested documents nor inspect the electoral materials used for the governorship poll.
The party said: “Because we are a law-abiding party, unlike the anarchists in the PDP and their flagrant INEC collaborators, we reported this to the Tribunal, which then said it was not up to it to enforce the order given earlier. This was why we reported to the security agencies, especially the Police and the Department of State Services.
“Even though the Police IG intervened to ensure that the order of the Tribunal was carried out, the Rivers INEC still refused. This was why the DSS, seeking to prevent a breakdown of law and order that could result from the intransigence of the Rivers INEC, now invited the obstructionists to impress it upon them to carry out the order of the Tribunal. Despite these efforts, the order has still not been complied with till today.”
The APC also denied that the military was being used to intimidate anyone, saying it only subpoenaed the soldiers who played a major role in the elections not only in Rivers State but in the entire Niger Delta region, in view of the violence unleashed by the PDP on APC supporters before, during and after the elections.
The statement by Mohammed added: “Nigerians can now see that there is no truth whatsoever in the petition written by the intrusive Rivers PDP Senators and House of Representatives members that the DSS and the military were being used to obstruct justice. What the petitioners are seeking to do is to pull the wool over the eyes of Nigerians.”
It said it was an open secret that the PDP rigged the elections not only in Rivers State but also in Akwa Ibom State where the party and the INEC also refused to allow the APC to have access to electoral materials and where indeed vital documents have been destroyed.
It said: “Knowing fully well that they cooked the figures, and that their figures cannot hold up in the face of serious scrutiny, the Rivers PDP has resorted to using all the tricks in the books to delay the proceedings at the Tribunal, hoping that by so doing, the statutory 180 days we have to prove our case will expire.
“It was for the same reason that they (Rivers PDP and their INEC collaborators) tried to goad us to file contempt charges against them for their refusal to obey the Tribunal’s order. They had hoped that by filing such charges, valuable time would have been wasted.”
The party urged the 16 PDP lawmakers to tell their people to stop constituting an obstacle to the course of justice by allowing the Rivers State APC access to the election materials, instead of writing frivolous petitions and blaming the victims of their lawlessness.