Posted by Ferdinand Ekeoma | 9 January 2016 | 3,546 times
Going through the piece with the caption “Judiciary on Trial again”, written by Mr. Amanze Obi and published yesterday in News Express, what came to my mind was the famous statement by Martin Luther King Jnr. that “nothing in the whole world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
With every sense of respect to this my elder brother from another mother, I have no reason to believe that he is suffering from any of the above mentioned vices, but I am pretty sure that knowledge, truth, and conscience were on leave when he came calling, but why he chose not to wait for their resumption before punishing the innocent is one reason too curious to be ignored.
For the avoidance of doubt, the April governorship election conducted in Abia was a battle between the suffering Abia masses and the inglorious PDP cabal that has held Abia in perpetual bondage for years. So Abians looked even beyond Dr. Alex Otii’s First Class Degree and First Class performance both in First Bank and Diamond Bank, but anchored their support more on his daring audacity, his newness, his passion, and his independent mindedness in the 2015 Abia political battle.
The momentum of his mission and the mass appeal it attracted was actually responsible for the typical slave master resistance, aggression, violence, and brutality exhibited by the PDP throughout the period of the election.
These acts of violence and intimidation were exhibited through the daily destruction of Otti’s campaign billboards, hate jingles on radio, open threats with matchetes, guns, and coffins, blockade of Otti’s convoys, burning down of INEC offices, etc.
For those who do not know, Alex Otti was coasting home victoriously with over 55,000 votes when the PDP through their sporadic shooting, snatching and stuffing of ballot boxes pushed in fraudulent results with alarming figures that were not recorded even in the biggest LGAs in the country. This forced the INEC Returning Officer, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba, to announce the cancellation of results of those three LGAs with the intent of ordering for a rerun. The cancellation was done in the presence of journalists, as well as local and international election observers. Unfortunately, PDP in their usual audacity of dubiousness and brigandage, mobilised their high ranking officers led by the then Governor T.A.Orji, the National Publicity Secretary who is now a special guest of EFCC, Olisa Metuh, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, former NDDC Chairman, Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, and others, backed by fierce-looking security agents, and brutal looking thugs did the unthinkable as they invaded the INEC headquarters in Umuahia, forced the old woman Resident Commissioner, Prof. Celina Okoh, into one of the rooms upstairs; the Returning Officer joined her, and few minutes later, these officers disembarked from the room, looking very tensed and frightened, and hurriedly announced the reversal of their earlier cancellation, to the shock and disbelief of the nation.
The thousands of Abians that had barricaded the INEC headquarters shortly after the arrival of these PDP invaders cried, wailed, and shouted to the world in absolute haplessness, they couldn’t prevent their oppressors who were armed to the teeth, and at the same enjoyed the support of the government of the day.
Just the way the pictures and videos of the PDP thugs that matched through the streets dropping coffins, displaying machetes and threatening to kill Abians if they failed to vote for the PDP and T.A.Orji’s godson are still all over the internet. The pictures and videos of the invasion of INEC headquarters are still available for the world, including our brother Amanze Obi to behold.
In delivering their judgment, the Appeal panel made it clear that they were shocked that the PDP legal team could not even counter or challenge the evidence of over-voting and fraudulent allocation of results presented by the APGA legal team. In the words of Her Lordship, Justice Oyebisi Omoleye, “there is clear and overwhelming evidence of over-voting in the three LGAs. The results were smeared and infested with corruption.”
Mr. Amanze Obi repeatedly insisted that the judgment is a radical departure from the earlier one given by the Abia Governorship Election Tribunal which upheld Ikpeazu’s election. One is forced to ask, what is the essence of Appeal Court? Is it to review a case and correct any errors where necessary for the purpose of justice adjudication, or to consolidate miscarriage of justice?
No doubt, the writer embraced the gospel of PDP who are desperately looking for an undeserved rerun so that they and Abia State Government would use our illegally gotten commonwealth to unleash mayhem on innocent Abians.
The undisputed truth is that the judgment of the lower Tribunal was so blunderous and indicting against the PDP that their supporters including lawyers were very angry from day one, and expressed this openly, thus it would be an abomination for it to stand the scrutiny of an unbiased panel. Of course, Chief Akin Olujunmi, Otti’s Lead Counsel, told them this bitter truth on the day of adoption that they criticised the judgment given to them by the lower Tribunal. This made Chief Olanipekun to get angry.
Is it not shocking that the lower Tribunal did not know the difference between a rerun and a supplementary election, as they dismissed Otti’s case on the basis that he and his party took part in a rerun election and thus accepted the entire results of the election; meanwhile there was no rerun in Abia?
Again, is it not still embarrassing that the Tribunal claimed that Otti and APGA Approbated and Reprobated (that is calling for the cancellation of the election and at the same time demanding the declaration of Otti as winner of the election), but the truth was that Otti and APGA called for the cancellation of only the results of the three L.G.As which were fraudulent.
As expected, the Appeal Court respectfully lashed out at the lower Tribunal for intentionally ignoring the obvious facts laid before it and still went ahead to uphold Ikpeazu’s election.
It is baseless, fallacious, ridiculous and ludicrous to allege that voters in the contentious three LGAs were disenfranchised. There is a huge difference between canceling election and ordering a rerun as a result of violence recorded midway during an election when no winner has emerged, or ordering for a supplementary election because a huge chunk of legitimate voters didn’t vote, and cancelling election because those allowed to vote disobeyed electoral guidelines, voted fraudulently which resulted to over voting, with a criminal intent.
What happened in some of the states being cited are either supplementary elections in areas where elections didn’t take place in the first place, or that courts nullified elections and ordered for reruns because the huge number cancelled affected the emergence of a clear winner. Bayelsa being cited by Amanze and co falls within the first category of a supplementary election.
In the case of the three LGAs of Obingwa, Osisioma, and Isialangwa North, there was voting, but in the desperation of Okezie Ikpeazu and PDP to cover the huge deficit with which Otti was cruising to victory, they pushed in fraudulent results which gave them crazy figures; that is why in an LGA with 33,000 accredited voters, PDP allocated over 84,000 votes to themselves and arrogantly asked Otti to go to court.
This is an indefensible crime which no court can tolerate, and even an unbroken tongue cannot defend. Mind you, INEC is not a charity organisation that has enormous resources to waste conducting elections to correct a crime wittingly committed. There was a supplementary election in Abia for legitimate voters who didn’t vote, this was to ensure that people were not disenfranchised, and people came out and voted, so where does the issue of disenfranchisement come from?
May be there would be another time and space to respond to some other insinuations made in Mr. Amanze Obi’s piece, but one truth that has been exposed here is that our brother Obi doesn’t love his Abia brothers that much by wishing them what they have been praying God to take away from them.
If this writer has some thing against President Buhari and his regime, I think he should look for a neutral platform to say it, not hiding under the umbrella of Otti vs Ikpeazu to insult our sensibilities.
Condemning the innocent Abia masses for not rigging election for Jonathan and the PDP in Abia is a huge insult. If I may ask, is voting not motivated by performance or anticipated performance? On what basis would the masses have trooped out to vote for Jonathan?
As a journalist, the best way to ascertain the truth is to be on ground, or verify from fair minded individuals who are on ground. I do not know what could be the reason why Mr. Amanze goofed so calamitously both on legal facts of the Abia Case and on morality of what is happening in Abia. I suspect that my beloved brother Amanze Obi visited Abia last during the late Sam Mbakwe regime when we were still in the old Imo State – that’s the only thing that can excuse his misconception or misrepresentation of facts concerning Abia.
I am afraid that millions of Ndi Igbo living in and outside Abia who read Mr. Obi’s piece would see it as a hocus-pocus literary voyage of deceit aimed at assisting the Slave Masters hold Abia residents and Ndi Igbo by extension in perpetual bondage.
We must insist in doing a job that gives us joy, not the type that cages our conscience, and seeks to betray our people when they desperately desire freedom.
Let me believe that since there are no beautiful pictures in terms of government achievements in Abia worthy of being shown on television, the writer just like a few others have been bullied, bombarded, and bamboozled with beautiful lies about the non existing achievements of the PDP Government, hence his inability to embrace the bitter truth about the nationally acclaimed atrocities happening in Abia....too sad.
What happened at the Court of Appeal Owerri is what I have chosen to describe as a successful judicial surgical operation, of course the spontaneous celebration witnessed in every nook and cranny of the state is a factual testimony that cannot be erased under any guise.
We know that PDP and Abia State Government have deployed men and resources in the media in a desperate move to murder truth again, but they should know that the truth they murdered in April rose on the 31st of December, 2015, six days after the birth of Jesus Christ, and the truth has come to live in Abia forever.
•Ferdinand Ekeoma can be reached via email@example.com. Photo shows Abia Governor-elect Alex Otti.
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