THE Young Progressives Party, YPP, Friday, raised the alarm over the composition of special membership of Court of Appeal to hear the election matter in Enugu State.
According to YPP, as a party, it has issues with the level of secrecy of members of the panel to look into the appeals lodged by Chief Chris Uba and Senator Andy Uba against Senator Ifeanyi Ubah and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Addressing Journalists yesterday in Abuja, National Chairman of YPP, Comrade Bishop Amakiri said that the composition must not be done in secrecy.
Amakiri said, “We, the Young Progressives Party have watched with keen interest the proceedings of the Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu with respect to the Appeal lodged by Chief Chris Uba (in Appeal No. CA/EAPP/20/2019) and Senator Andy Uba (CA/EAPP/23/2019) against the decision of the Election tribunal in Anambra State which upheld the election of Senator Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah as the duly elected Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District of Anambra State.
“The Court of Appeal scheduled the hearing of the Appeals lodged by Chief Chris Uba for the 31st of October 2019 before the regular panel of the Court of Appeal which had earlier heard the same Senatorial appeal between Senator Victor Umeh and Senator Uche Ekwunife on Anambra Central Senatorial elections.
“Curiously about midday on the 21st of October 2019, Counsel in the matter were informed that the Appeals had been fixed for hearing the next day being the 22nd of October 2019 before the regular panel of the Court of Appeal. Lawyers in the matter had to immediately rush down to Enugu from various parts of the country ahead of the hearing.
“However, at about 4pm on the said 21st of October 2019, our lawyers were informed that the hearing of the Appeals have been called off and that a special panel of Justices of the Court of Appeal would be constituted by the Honourable President of the Court of Appeal for hearing of election matters including the Appeals lodged by Chris Uba (in Appeal No. CA/EAPP/20/2019) and Senator Andy Uba (CA/EAPP/23/2019).
“Our party has made efforts to inquire into the rationale for the abrupt change of the panel of the Court of Appeal hearing the matter to no avail.
“We have also made efforts to find out the new composition of the panel of the Court of Appeal that are being sent to hear the Appeals to no avail. Again, the Court of Appeal today the 23rd of October 2019 informed our lawyers that the Appeals in in Appeal No. CA/EAPP/20/2019 (Chief Chris Uba v INEC) has been fixed for hearing on the 25th of October 2019.
“Our Party believes that the composition of Courts is a fundamental to the impartiality of the Court and whilst our party has implicit confidence in the judiciary including the Court of Appeal, we believe that there should be explanations for the changes in the composition of the panel of the Court of Appeal Enugu. In addition, we request for a full disclosure of the composition of the Special Panel of the Court of Appeal that has been constituted for the hearing of the Appeals.
“Our position is pertinent particularly in view of rumors and boasts by the supporters of the appellant that the changes in the panel of the Court of Appeal is aimed at achieving a pre-determined objective to the detriment of our party and its candidate, Senator (Dr.) Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah.
“It is instructive for the public to note that in the 2019 Anambra South Senatorial elections which held on Saturday, February 23rd, 2019 and was widely adjudged to be free, fair and a reflection of the will of the people, our candidate, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Ubah amassed a total of 87,081 votes to beat his closest rival, Chief Chris Uba of the PDP who scored 52,462 votes with over 34,000 votes. Chief Nicholas Ukachukwu of ruling party in Anambra State, APGA scored 51,629 votes and Senator Andy Uba of the APC who had served eight years at the Senate arm of the National Assembly scored 13,245 votes.
“Gracefully, Chief Nicholas Ukachukwu accepted the result and refused to go to Election Tribunal while the Uba brothers whose family occupied the seat for 12 years with Ugochukwu Uba spending four years and Andy Uba who served for eight years, decided to go to Court in a bid to rock the boat. We insist that the rule of law must prevail.
“The electorate is watching keenly. It is our fervent expectation that the judiciary, which is the last hope of the common man and the bastion of democracy will stand firm and courageous when democratic institutions are on the verge of being abused.
“At this juncture, we wish to call on the judiciary to continue to remain on the side of the people. The Court of Appeal must not allow themselves to be used by desperate power mongers against law-abiding citizens but to ensure that their actions are backed by the dictates of the law. As the saying goes, the Judiciary is the last hope of the common man.
“It is therefore imperative on the Nigerian Judiciary to stand up to its statutory responsibility as the final arbiter for any dispute and do what is just in the eyes of the law and in line with the mood of Ndi Anambra South. Our hope is that the Justices presiding over this case will deliver judgment in this matter without fear or favour. The electorate is keenly watching and waiting for them to dispense justice in a manner that will not make our judiciary a laughingstock.
“We remain confident that the mandate of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah as the duly elected Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District will be upheld by the Court of Appeal.”Read Full Story