The attention The Peoples Democratic Party, Akwa Ibom State Chapter has been drawn to some sketches by a combined team of ill-tutored members of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Akwa Ibom State and signed by one Nkereuwem Enyongekere-their titular Publicity Secretary. The said sketches appear to be a futile attempt by their party to reply to some aspects of the press statement issued by our party, few days ago on the Judge basis issue.
First, we dismiss the initial three paragraphs of the sketch as lacking in substance, logically bland, grammatically otiose, contextually careless and wanting on all scales of reasonability. The APC having said nothing therein, we shall simply ignore same as their sordid approach at getting started.
Now to the issues. The APC in a press conference held by their Party Chairman, Ini Okopido had made spurious allegations against Hon. Justice Jennifer Mbalamen; judged her biased and unfit to head a panel of the National and State House of Assembly Election Petiton Tribunal sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state. As a justification for their demand, they stated that she is married to Prof. A. Ijohor who serves as the Secretary to the Government of Benue State and also filed an online statement credited by them to one Henry Ijohor whom they describe as a progeny and heir of the Ihojor’s family, as a further and better affidavit in support of their claims.
In this current sketch which they have titled “Catalogue of Provocative Vituperations” they have again repeated the same poor logic and analogies.
The APC ab initio failed to convince a world of educated Akwa Ibom people that the social media comment credited to one Henry Ijohor is in reality linked to the said progeny of the Ijohor’s family. Any twerp with an Android phone could have created the account and made the said post in preparation for the current mischievous twerk by the APC, Akwa Ibom State. We need not say that such shallow creativity is in the DNA of the APC in the state.
To the Mbalamen/Bulkachuwa analogy, it is rather unfortunate that the APC have consistently displayed the absence of caution in their utterances. It is pertinent to bring to their attention, maybe for the first time, that the Court of Appeal in her ruling in the case of Atiku vs Buhari wherein the issue of a likelihood of bias was flagged against Hon. Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, held that family ties were not weighty enough to establish the allegations of bias made against Justice Bulkachuwa. The court of Appeal per Hon. Justice Olabisi Ige held thus:
“The relationship between Hon. Justice Bulkachuwa and her husband Adamu Bulkachuwa, a senator elect under the APC and her son, Aliyu Abubakar, a Governorship aspirant also under the APC are not weighty enough to infer that she would be biased in the handling of the cases at the Tribunal”
Since by this constant anaology, one may conclude that the atmosphere of illogical reasoning is hanging over the APC and they are unable to interpret decisions of courts, including the effect of an existing decision of the court on other matters of similar facts. We hereby offer the following advice, pro bono: Principally, such decisions will bind all lower courts, except a higher court overrules it. The simple meaning of this, which the APC in Akwa Ibom state do not appreciate is that, since the Court of Appeal said that Bulkachuwa had no likelihood of being biased, regardless of her husband being a senator-elect under the APC and her son being a Governorship aspirant under the same party, then, there is no possible reasoning that can make the court to hold that there is a likelihood of bias in Hon. Justice Mbalamen’s role in presiding over the National and State House of Assembly Tribunal in Uyo, because her husband is the SSG to the Benue state and a member of PDP. To hold differently would be for the court to blow hot and cold over the same set of facts. Such attribute which defines the APC is alien to the court and the APC must not make the mistake of thinking that all Nigerians, including the courts have joined them in that unstable nature.
On Mrs Amina of INEC, who first denied any affinity or consanguinity with PMB, it suffices to state that these are very different scenarios or to borrow the APC’s usage in a more appropriate circumstance and state that this analogy is “a pile of fallacy of non sequiturs hurriedly cooked…” There is no single similarity between the cases, the analogy simply does not follow.
As our parting words, the APC may wish to advise themselves against actions that may organise a more shameful end for them in the state. They comprehensively lost the elections in the state and no machination can undo their failure. For us in the PDP, we are confident that God who began the good work in giving us victory at the polls, is faithful to complete our joy by giving us victory at all levels of the Nigerian judiciary.
A M Ekanem
Media Relations Officer
People’s Democratic Party
Akwa Ibom State
17th July, 2019