The Peoples Democratic Governors’ Forum has expressed alarm at what it termed judicial buccaneering following the annulment of the election of Gov.
Darius Ishaku of Taraba by the State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Saturday in Abuja.
The governors’ forum said the conduct of the tribunals in cases involving the PDP leaves much to be desired as it falls short of any time honoured norms of transparency and justice.
In a statement by the Coordinator of the forum, Earl Osaro Onaiwu, the governors accused the judiciary of having become a pawn in the chessboard of the All Progressives Congress regime, warning that it needs to extricate itself from the apparent stranglehold of APC buccaneers.
“What has become evident is that the judiciary has cornered itself by becoming a pawn in the chessboard of APC buccaneering tactics in cases concerning governors elected on the platform of the PDP.
“If it were not so, why the contradictory judgments emanating from the tribunals even in cases of clear precedence? In Lagos, the tribunal discountenance the use of card readers and denied the PDP its victory in the face of overwhelming evidence.
“Curiously, other tribunals, weeks after, in the matter of Akwa Ibom and Rivers State ruled on the sanctity of the card reader because it favours the APC. The most telling bias of the judiciary is in the Taraba tribunal ruling.
“Is it not magical that the tribunal could conjure answers to prayers not asked by the APC and its governorship candidate? Did the PDP not ask for the disqualification of the APC candidate in Benue state, who decamped from the party and the next day was made the APC candidate without primaries? But the tribunal found it convenient to overlook this issue.
“Does the tribunal have the powers to declare any other candidate winner in the light of the Electoral Act 2011 as amended? The onus of a winner rests only with the electoral body, the INEC and no court. What the Taraba tribunal has exposed is the grand design of the APC to entrench a one-party state through the courts, and this the PDP governors will resist.
“The forum is confident that the judiciary still has the opportunity to redeem itself at the appellate and apex courts.”