The Supreme Court has given reasons behind its earlier verdict setting aside Court of Appeal’s judgment which sacked Abia State governor, Okezie Ikpeazu.
In an unanimous decision, the panel of Supreme Court justices agreed that the Lower Court erred by declaring the candidate of All Peoples Grand Alliance, Alex Otti the winner of the governorship election .
The panel led by Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed held that the Appellate Court usurped the power of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which is the only organ empowered to cancel polling results.
The court also faults the Lower Court’s reliance on card reader for its judgment.
According to the Apex Court, the card reader machine has no statutory backing in Nigeria’s law and should not be used to determine a winner in any election.
The panel also held that the allegation on voting was not proved as the petitioner failed to tender voter’s register to substantiate his claims.
A journalist, Adewale Adeoye, while commenting on the registration of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has said that the move is “a good step forward,” adding that “PDP states are mostly overwhelmed by political instabilities”.
He said this after praising the developments in states where the defunct ACN was in power.
Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, he said the successful registration of the merger “teaches that when people are persistent about what they believe in, they should not give up.”
He added that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should be given credit for standing its ground in registering the APC, despite ‘all sorts of manipulations’ such as another party laying claim to the APC acronym.
He said African People Congress’ claim that it approached INEC first was a calculated attempt to ensure that the merger party, APC, was never registered.
He disagreed with claims that APC and the PDP are the same. “I don’t think so. In terms of form, they might be the same, but in terms of content, they are different”.
Citing Lagos state, he said the city has become “a reference point for international agencies.” Ekiti state introduced social security in the history of Nigeria, as well as Osun state.
He discredited the argument of the African People Congress’ as lacking strength. “If you are going to court to argue that APC should not be registered, it has to be based on strength of an argument that is convincing”
“Any responsible judge will know that there’s no way you can defend such a position in a plural and democratic society like ours,” he added.
He said the successful registration of the new party is ‘not the end’ and the members still have a lot of work to do.
He urged the APC to convince Nigerians that there would be a paradigm shift in terms of its policies on economy, security, environment, terrorism. “Those are the issues that are more important,” he added.
He said they have to work at putting food on the tables of Nigerians.
Commenting on All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) insistence that it has not merged with any alliance, Mr Adeoye said “a section of APGA is in alliance with the APC”.
He added that “external forces would make attempt at creating division”. As far as we are concerned, the Imo state faction of AGPA is on the side of APC.