Ahead of Tuesday’s ruling by a panel of the Supreme Court in the 2016 Bayelsa governorship election, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Monday alleged that there are clandestine moves by top shots of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to pervert justice, putting members of the panel under pressure.
The justices are to deliver judgment in the appeals of the APC’s Chief Timipre Sylva against the judgments of the Election Petition Tribunal and Court of Appeal, both of which upheld the election of Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State.
“We are aware that these people and other senior members of the APC are again putting pressure on justices of the Supreme Court to pervert the course of justices by overturning the decisions of the Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal to nullify the mandate freely given to Governor Seriake Dickson by the people of Bayelsa State,” the statement by Prince Dayo Adeyeye, the PDP spokesman added.
He noted that the APC, using state structures, has in recent weeks been harassing members of the judiciary, ignoring allegations that it’s top officials, including serving ministers, also attempted to bribe the judges to undermine their rulings in suits relating to the Abia, Akwa Ibom, Ekiti and Rivers states.
Despite the attempts by the ruling party to intimidate the justices to deliver judgment in its favour, Adeyeye reiterated the PDP’s belief that the judiciary being the last hope of the common man and the bastion of democracy, the justices would ensure that justice “is not only done, but seen to be done.
“We urge the justices of the Supreme Court to ignore this pressure and give judgment in line with the dictates of our Constitution, electoral laws and good conscience.
“In these trying times when the disregard for the rule of law prevails and there is deliberate disregard for the constitutional rights and freedoms of the Nigerian people, we call on the judiciary to stand firm against tyrany,” the statement added, stressing its readiness to accept Tuesday’s judgment in good faith and in the interest of the people.