Posted by Onyebuchi Ememanka | 7 years ago | 2,437 times
All my life, I have always spoken against oppression and political suppression of any kind. I personally detest injustice.
During the Presidency of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, I saw full blown tyranny against then Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi. I saw a grand scheme to use the enormous powers of the Presidency to harass and oppress a sitting and elected Governor using an overzealous State Police Commissioner.
I saw a well orchestrated plan to illegally impeach Governor Amaechi then.
I stood with Amaechi then. I used the little voice God gave me to deprecate those acts of illegality. Thank God that plan failed.
Democracy entails divergence of views. People who exercise powers of incumbency must do so with great caution not to stifle the rights of others.
I have always believed that a credible opposition is a must for a truly enduring democracy.
Police Commissioner Mbu had the world at his feet then. He was a hero then but little did he know that the man he so brazenly harassed will turn around to be a key player in the federal government.
Where is Mbu today?
It is with the same zeal that I view what I see as a clear scheme to destroy the PDP using judicial powers.
The activities and body language of Justice Okon Efereti Abang leave me in no doubt whatsoever that there is a grand design to perpetuate confusion in the PDP and weaken it to the extent that it would be unable to play its role of providing credible opposition in our country.
When the PDP held federal power, the other parties like the ACN, ANPP and the CPC which later formed the APC of today were never harassed by anyone. Whenever we saw signs of harassment, some of us spoke out loudly because democracy thrives on credible opposition.
Yesterday's judgment by Justice Abang is anachronistic and turns the rule of law on its head.
The PH convention which he declared illegal was the same convention fixed and arranged by Senator Sherrif. We all saw when Sheriif together with Governor Wike worked closely to ensure the success of the convention. Senator Sherrif even appeared on national TV getting accredited for that convention.
It was on the day of the convention proper when delegates had gathered from across the country and when Sherrif knew that it was game for him that he unilaterally cancelled the convention citing several law cases in court.
I submit that by getting involved in that convention, and getting formally accredited, Sherrif had waived his rights to complain about that convention.
Besides, Sheriff had appealed the judgment of the PH Federal High Court that sacked him. Why add to the confusion by handing down a new judgment? Why not allow the Court of Appeal to do its work?
Justice Abang said yesterday that the judgment of the PH High Court is illegal. A court of coordinate jurisdiction?
I keep wondering why sensitive cases involving the PDP must be assigned to Justice Okon Abang with his huge appetite for controversy. While he sat in the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court, he was the most controversial judge there. Petitions upon petitions flew around almost all his judgments.
In a case involving my company, Justice Abang granted an order of interlocutory injunction against a multi billion dollar project which, upon completion will add 200,000 barrels of crude oil to our national economy. He granted this order following an application by a plaintiff who was in no way remotely connected to the contract. It is trite law that only parties to a contract can sue thereon. When we challenged his jurisdiction on that basis, he dismissed our application on the ground that it was filed out of time.
Even a student of the Law School knows that jurisdiction is critical to adjudication. It is extrinsic thereto and is not guided by the rules of court. It can be raised at any time during trial even on the day of judgment. Yet, Justice Abang dismissed our application challenging jurisdiction and proceeded to make an order of injunction which sent shock waves within the international oil and gas community and was capable of eroding investor confidence in our country.
His judgment which purportedly sacked Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State on spurious grounds of tax when tax is not even a ground to contest election under our constitution and the electoral act has thrown Abia State into needless political turmoil.
Abang's judgments have caused confusion in Abia and Edo States. Now his latest judgment is causing serious crisis in the PDP.
Let me make it clear that our country and indeed, our democracy needs a strong and virile PDP to survive. It took a well orchestrated opposition platform to defeat the PDP at the last federal elections because Nigerians were given a choice and the APC allowed to grow. Even when the PDP then had the resources to sponsor confusion in opportunity camps, they did not.
PDP must be allowed to remain strong. It must be allowed to recover from their defeat. That is how democracy grows in a country.
I have no doubt in my mind that Senator Sherrif is playing out a well planned script to entrench confusion in the party. This must be resisted by all means.
Under the APC federal government whose election I wholeheartedly supported, Nigeria is moving steadily in the reverse gear. A clear lack of economic direction has plunged the country into unprecedented hardship.
Nigerians must be allowed that same choice we had when the PDP took us for a ride.
I stand 100% with the PDP at this trying moment.
And for Justice Abang, let the story of Mbu teach him a lesson. Let history guide him. People like him who hide under the high powers of officialdom to inflict pain on others don't last.
-Onyebuchi Ememanka, Esq
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