The Allied People’s Movement (APM) on Monday rejected the newly constituted Ogun State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal being led by Justice Josephine Coker of Lagos State Judiciary through a petition to President of Court Appeal,Justice Zainab, Bulkachuwa.
The petition submitted before the Court of Appeal’s President by Yusuf Dantalle, the National Chairman of the Party on behalf of the Allied People’s Movement (APM) and Adekunle Akinlade, Ogun State Governorship candidate in March 9, 2019 election.
While addressing a press conference in Abeokuta on Monday, Yusuf Dantalle, the National Chairman of APM, alleged that the disbandment of the Justice Chinwe Onyeabo’s panel was unfair, wrong and mischievous.
BusinessDay reports that Court of Appeal President was reported to have disbanded the Justice Onyeabo-led Ogun State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal and replaced same with Justice Josephine Coker of the Lagos Judiciary.
Although no particular reason was given for the disbandment, the All Progressives Congress (APC) had earlier filed a motion asking the President to disband the Panel for which the Secretary of the Tribunal, Nyior Henry Sekulla, confirmed that the reshuffle was across the country and Ogun State was also affected.
Dantalle alleged that the dismissal of the initial panel was targeted at frustrating the petition of APM against emergence of Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC), saying Justice Coker was appointed a judge in Lagos State by both APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Vice President Osinbajo, who are stakeholders in the ongoing petition at the tribunal.
It was further alleged that APC’s motion heralded the exit of Justice Onyeabo’s panel via a motion dated 15th April 2019 wherein the party prayed, among others, the disbandment of the panel, adding that despite the fact that the motion was slated for hearing on May 8, 2019 as a memo was reportedly received by the tribunal that the panel be disbanded and replaced with new one.
The party however said that the timing of the decision of the Court of Appeal and the choice of the new tribunal panel brings to bear that fact that the whole process seems predetermined and he who seeks equity must come with clean hands.
The petition partly reads, “Obviously, their craftily contrived application not only envisaged Adekunle AbdulKabir Akinlade/APM’s petition no EPT/OG/GOV/01/19 but demanded a complete change of members of the Panel, and in their place, “a new panel”. My Lord, to this end, the new Panel is totally unacceptable to the Allied Peoples’ Movement (APM).
“I have, within the narrow paginations in this petition/complaint against the unfair, wrong, and mischievous dismissal of Onyeabo’s panel provided the basis/grounds/reasons why this newly contrived panel should be done away with.
“Politicians of influence and particularly those in the exalted offices must not be allowed to interfere with the due administration of Justice. Their obvious design is to engender injustice against APM and her governorship candidate.
“It is for the reason given above and many more that I, as National Chairman of Allied People’s Movement (APM), respectively urge your Lordship to disband the newly constituted panel led by Justice Adenike Josephine Coker and reconstitute a new one in the interest of Justice.”
RAZAQ AYINLA, Abeokuta