Irked by what it described as the plethora of conflicting court rulings rocking the Federal High Court, the Peoples Democratic Party National Youth Frontiers (PDPNYF), a frontline youth group within the opposition PDP, on Thursday, called on the National Judicial Commission to investigate and address the inglorious acts of High Court judges issuing conflicting judgments.
Citing the rulings of Justice Okon Abang, which botched the August 17 National Convention of the PDP, as well as threw Abia State into confusion, the PDPNYF in a statement by its Coordinator, Austin Okai, said the silence of the National Judicial Council, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, and the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court could only mean a confirmation of “our suspicion that Justice Okon is not acting alone, and our judiciary is no longer an unàbiased institution.” Reacting to the events around the botched PDP August 17, 2016 National Convention held in Portharcourt, the group in a statement said: “We observed in dismay the roles played by various State organs and a judicial officer before, during and after the August 17, 2016 rescheduled National Convention of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party.
“We condemn the deliberate act of Justice Okon Abang of Federal High Court, Abuja division to assume the role of an Appellate Court to hear a matter brought to him by ousted PDP Chairman! Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, and issued verdict to reverse the judgement of Justice Ibrahim Watila of Federal High Court, Portharcourt division, who had in suit number FHC/ PH/CS/585/2016 had previously issued a verdict stamping legality on the Convention after the matter was brought before the learned justice by the Senator Ben Obi of PDP National Caretaker Committee.
“We consider the action of Justice Okon Abang to set aside the judgement of FHC, Portharcourt, a court of concurrent jurisdiction as an affront to the judiciary and a show of judicial rascality, and we strongly condemn the action of the learned justice.
“We strongly Condemn the deliberate act of members of Nigeria Police and the Army to seize the venue of the Convention, preventing members and delegates of our great party from gaining access to the stadium despite a valid court order by Justice Ibrahim Watila of Federal High Court, Portharcourt which mandated them to ensure security and cooperation during the convention.
“It is regrettable that Nigeria has denigrated into a society where a justice like Okon Abang that is supposed to uphold the tenet of justice will be the person putting himself in a position that suggests a deliberate act to subvert justice. It is important to note that the action of Justice Okon Abang was recently described by Justice Ogunwumiju of Court of Appeal as “a grave violence against the pillars of justice” in the case between Uche Ogah and Okezie Ikpeazu.
“It is regrettable that our security agencies that are supposed to execute court judgements will instead flout the judgement by obstructing an important institution in a democracy from carrying out a legitimate task of holding convention.
“We call on the Nigeria Judicial Council, the Chief Justice of the Federation, and the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to investigate and address the inglorious act of High Court judges issuing conflicting judgement in a particular subject.
The silence of the National Judicial Council, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, and the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court is only a confirmation of our suspicion that Justice Okon is not acting alone, and our judiciary is no longer an unàbiased institution.
“While we pledge our support to the Sen. Ahmed Makarfi led National Caretaker Committee, we appeal to Senator Ali Modu Sheriff group to sheath their sword and join hands to prepare the party for 2019.
“Finally, we warn the government of President Muhammadu Buhari and its agents to desist from interfering in the internal affairs of our party as we are prepared to resist such undemocratic move. We shall explore every means possible to ensure that our great party is not brought to disrepute by organs and agents of the State.