The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday alleged that it has uncovered moves by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to mastermind the replacement of election tribunal judges in states won by their party at the last election.
The national publicity secretary of PDP, Olisa Metuh, who raised the alarm yesterday, further alleged that APC intends to alter the composition of the election tribunals with a view to importing pliable judges to overturn the party’s victory in the last general elections.
He specifically listed the states to include, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Abia, Taraba and Delta.
He said said, “ We have concrete evidence that the APC administration in its desperation is 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.
“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.”
He further alerted that “part of the plot is to use the Department of State Services (DSS) and some unscrupulous officials of the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) 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.”
APC-led FG Will Not Micromanage Judiciary – APC
But the APC has asked the PDP to stop denigrating the judiciary by suggesting that tribunal judges handling the various election petitions could be influenced, saying the APC-led federal government would not micromanage the judiciary.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday by its national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the PDP was throwing wild allegations against the tribunals in Rivers and other states because the party knows it stole the votes in those states.
“The affected states are the cashcows of the PDP, hence the party is so jittery about losing the states, which they know they did not win in the first instance.