The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the office of the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa of undue interference in ongoing election petition cases.
The allegation by the PDP is coming despite the fact that the party has been emerging victorious in most of the contentious election petition cases especially in the national assembly election petition tribunals in Abia, Rivers and Akwa Ibom states. However lots of high profile verdicts are yet to be handed down by the tribunals.
According to the party, reports emanating from Justice Bulkachuwa’s office indicated that there were moves to sway judgments against PDP candidates at the various election petition tribunals and other judicial cases.
In a statement issued by PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, the party cautioned against attempts to detract from the sanctity of the judiciary just to favour the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates.
The statement said, “While we would not want to believe that the President of the Court of Appeal is so involved, given the sensitivity of her office, we wish to caution in very strong terms, that such is completely unacceptable as it principally detracts from the sanctity of the judiciary as the citadel of justice and erode the trust reposed on it by the people.
“We expect the President of the Court of Appeal to understand that an impartial judiciary is critical to the survival of our democracy and the stability of this nation. In this regard therefore, we urge her to ensure that there is no further interference in electoral matters in tribunals and courts, as they must be allowed to run through the full course of justice.
“Furthermore, we wish to reiterate our earlier call on the Chief Justice of the Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed to guide jealously the independence of the judiciary which he heads, and ensure that any activity that tends to undermine the sanctity of this arm of government is stiffly resisted in the interest of democracy.
“In any case, the PDP restates that it will continue to closely monitor proceedings in various tribunals and other judicial cases, and will use every means within the ambit of the law to ensure that nobody, no matter how highly placed, interferes in judicial matters, especially political cases.”