An Abuja based human rights lawyer, Leo Ekpenyong has admonished the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State to stop dragging the judiciary into its political propaganda following the recent ruling of Justice Okon Abang of the federal high court, Abuja on the defection of Senator Godswill Akpabio from the party.
It would be recalled that the trial judge, Justice Abang in his ruling on May 17, 2019 said that the senator only “moved to join the All Progressives Congress (APC), out of frustration of being expelled by the PDP through a letter dated August 2, 2018.”
The judge held that having been expelled from PDP, Akpabio was at liberty to join another political party of his choice and any attempt to declare his seat vacant as requested by the plaintiff, Legal Defence and Assistant Project would be to punish him for exercising his right to freedom of association under section 40 of the Constitution.
Ekpenyong said the claim by the state’s PDP Public Secretary, Ini Emembong, that Akpabio was not expelled from the party, is nothing but an orchestrated campaign of vicious calumny.
The human rights lawyer while reacting to the recent outburst of the PDP’s publicity secretary, said the attack on judiciary is a calculated attempt by the PDP to tarnish the image of the judiciary, and a joke taken too far which is worthy of condemnation.
According to him, “Reading the full text of the judgement as well delivered by his Lordship, Abang, you cannot but agree with him into to that the ratio upon which he premised his decision is founded and predicated on the law and logical sagacity.
“The law has provided avenues for remedy for dissatisfied litigants and interested parties to further seek redress where and when they so desire, which is the right of appeal.
” Ememobong and the PDP in Akwa Ibom State can explore this option. Without prejudice to their right to freedom of expression, their veiled vituperations on the judiciary using Senator Akpabio as their target is not only childish, but a calculated attempt by the PDP to tarnish the image of the judiciary that has refused to do their bidding.
“Senator Akpabio’s depositions and claims where brought and argued before the temple of justice and not in the media.
“As we continue to deepen the struggle for the entrenchment and consolidation of our democracy,we assure every oppressed Akwa Ibom child who is suffering discrimination and segregation that President Buhari’s administration will halt the era of graft in Nigeria.
He further condemned the state governor, Emmanuel Udom for allegedly dismissing an Akwa Ibom indigene from Ibom Air, the State-owned airline, for merely suspecting that he has an affiliations with APC.
“Governor Udom Emmanuel and his co-travellers should be worried more about his place in history as well as the judgement of posterity for his rule of vindictiveness and totalitarianism.
While noting that the governor has unbridled intolerance for dissenting views and opinions, he said the government will be called to account for the humongous funds that accrued to the State, which he said were recklessly deployed during the last general elections to unseat the President.
He further assured that the attempts to short-change and deny Akwa Ibom indigenes of their commonwealth on the basis of tribe or political affiliation will be resisted via all lawful means,regardless of whose ox is gored.