The Peoples Democratic Party, on Thursday, once again demanded the immediate disbandment of the Plateau State Election Appeal Panel over alleged biased judgments targeted at robbing the party.
The PDP acting National Chairman, Umar Damagum, who made the call in Abuja, described as dangerous the pattern of alleged conflicting judicial pronouncements by the pane.
PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, on November 1, demanded a review of the Court of Appeal’s judgment on the state’s senatorial poll.
Ologunagba stated, “In the light of the foregoing, the PDP, in line with the aspiration and expectation of the people of Plateau State demands as follows: That the President of the Court of Appeal immediately disbands the Plateau State Election Appeal Court Panel.”
Damagum said, “Of serious concern is the continuing stay of the patently biased Plateau State Election Appeal Court Panel sitting in Abuja despite widespread demands by the people of Plateau State and the PDP for its immediate disbandment having regarding its varying and contradictory judgments against the PDP, which are also in conflict with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and the Electoral Act, 2022.”
The party’s acting National Chairman said, in the bid to assist the All Progressives Congress, the Plateau State Election Appeal Court Panel allegedly delivered varying, contradictory and conflicting judgments on election appeals with the same subject matter, same facts, same circumstances and same applicable laws.
Damagum explained that “in a bizarre pattern, the Plateau State Election Appeal Court Panel ordered a rerun where the PDP won and the APC came third, while where the APC came second, it ordered that the Certificate of Return issued to the victorious PDP candidate be withdrawn and a new Certificate of Return be issued to the defeated APC candidate, who came second in the election.
He declared that given the inexplicable infractions in the varying judgments and the grave tension they triggered in the state, PDP demanded that the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, immediately disband the allegedly compromised Plateau State Election Appeal Court Panel.
“Our Party also demanded that a new Plateau State Election Appeal Court Panel be constituted to hear the remaining appeals and that the manifestly biased and inconsistent judgments of the Plateau State Election Appeal Court Panel already delivered in the Appeals be subjected to judicial review,” he added.
Damagum added that the continuing stay of the Appeal Panel is pitching the people against the Court and the Judicial institution.
He stated, “The consequence is that the judiciary is allowing itself to be seen as an institution that has no regard for the sovereignty of the people and their constitutionally guaranteed rights in an electoral process under our laws.
“Also, it paints the judiciary in the image of an insensitive institution which has no respect for the rule of law.
“The PDP, therefore, in very strong terms, again calls on the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and the President of the Court of Appeal to save the situation by immediately insulating the Courts from the alleged influence of the anti-people cabal seeking to emasculate the judiciary and impose a totalitarian regime our country.
“The PDP also urges the CJN and the President of the Court of Appeal, as very experienced judicial officers, to restore confidence in the judiciary by immediately disbanding the present Plateau State Election Appeal Court Panel, setting up a new Appeal Panel and subjecting the bias judgments by the Plateau State Election Appeal Court Panel to judicial review.