The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday said that it has uncovered fresh plots by the government to tinker with the composition of the election tribunals’ judges in Rivers and other states under its control.
It said the idea behind the move was to replace the judges with those it described as “pliable judges to overturn the party’s (PDP) victory in the last general elections.”
The party said it has concrete evidence that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration was set to transfer “uncooperative tribunal judges and replace them with malleable ones to overturn PDP’s electoral victory in Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Abia, Taraba and Delta states and hand them over to the APC.”
Chief Olisa Metuh, PDP National Publicity Secretary, who made the plan known in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, said his party would resist such move.
The statement read, “Following the insistence by some tribunal judges on delivering justice, despite the pressure being mounted by the APC government, machineries have been put in motion to influence the outcome of the judicial process by replacing them with those already briefed to do the bidding of the APC government.
“Part of the plot is to use the Department of State Services and some unscrupulous officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission to tamper with official records of evidence and other electoral documents in INEC’s custody for presentation at the tribunals, which would be manned by the compromised judicial officials.
“We have uncovered an unholy alliance between the DSS and INEC to interfere directly in the activities of election tribunals in some PDP states by removing and altering some records in INEC and instigating the APC to insist that there were no elections in those states.”
He said after the elections, the former INEC chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, had said there were governorship elections in Rivers, Abia, Taraba, Akwa-Ibom and Delta states.
However, upon prodding by the APC, Metuh alleged that the DSS and INEC were already interfering with the electoral process by using some persons in INEC to doctor the results and change the true position of affairs regarding the elections in these states.
In reaction, the APC said it was aware that the opposition party was still suffering from its defeat at the last elections.
But Alhaji Lai Mohammed, National Publicity Secretary of the party, said APC and President Muhammadu Buhari would not interfere in the work of the judiciary.
He said very soon, the former ruling party would recover from its “hallucination.”
Mohammed said, “The President and the government will not micromanage the judiciary because we have respect for the integrity of the judiciary.
“PDP knows that there were no elections in these states and that is why they are not comfortable. Jega is not the final arbiter in election matters, only the courts can determine if elections were properly held or not.
“Why is the party also contesting the results of elections in other states where APC won? Did INEC not say there were elections in those states?”
Mohamed asked Nigerians to discard the “cry of the PDP because the party is crying wolf where there’s none.”