It is with utter shock that I read the wild allegations of Senator Elisha Abbo representing Adamawa North Senatorial District in Adamawa State against the Senate President, His Excellency Godswill Akpabio CON over his sack by the appellate court.
In the news circulating all over the media, he was said to have blamed the Senate President for his sack by the Court of Appeal, Abuja. He further alleged recklessly that other senators who like him did not vote for the Senate President are pencilled down for sack by His Excellency Godswill Akpabio using the judiciary.
It is surprising that a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria does not understand the elementary workings of the three arms of government under democracy. The Legislature which Senator Elisha Abbo was a member should not and does not interfere with judicial decisions over cases they handle.
The senator’s case I learnt is that he was declared the winner by INEC at the last election and his opponent who felt aggrieved by that declaration approached the tribunal for redress. At the conclusion of trial, the lower court upheld his election and dismissed the case of his opponent for lacking merit.
His opponent feeling dissatisfied with the decision of the election tribunal approached the appellate court with notice of appeal alleging several grounds that he desired the intervention of the appellate court.
At the appeal court, the court upheld the appeal of his opponent after reviewing the decision of the court below and sacked Senator Elisha Abbo after calculating the lawful votes both parties scored during the general election. This was one of those rare occasions where the court in Nigeria has effectively interpreted Section 137 of the Electoral Act, 2022 after that innovative insertion during the recent amendment. The court held that that Section which provides that admissible documentary evidence which showed manifest irregularities on the face of the document for Petitions on non compliance should be given its literal interpretation by placing reliance on the document to give lawful judgement.
The Appeal court in sacking the Senator made reference to the issues raised below by his opponent by relying on the Electoral Act, the constitution and the electoral guidelines for its considered judgment.
So the question that comes to mind after reading the allegations of Senator Abbo is what was the basis for the allegation. Specific questions are asked below:
1. Was the Senate President a member of the panel that sat and gave the judgement against him in the appeal court?
2. Was there any member in the panel of the three justices that is related to the Senate President?
3. Is there any proof that the Senate President was interested in the case of Senator Abbo and did anything untoward concerning the decision of the court of appeal?
4. On what basis did Senator Abbo come to the conclusion that the Senate President influenced the judiciary in sacking him as a Senator? Did he supply the laws or the facts through which he was sacked by the Honourable court?
For God’s sake, the duty of the legislative arm of the government which Senator Abbo was a member is to make laws and not for adjudication of cases. Can it be said that a Senator who has spent over fours years in the Red Chambers does not know the simple duties of all arms of government in a Democracy?
Further questions for the senator:
5. Could this allegation by Senator Abbo be a product of a drowning man clutching at a straw? If this is the case, it is very unfortunate and should be condemned.
By this wild allegation which has no basis in law and fact and without any iota of proof, Senator Elisha is guilty of:
1. Defamation against the Senate President and by extension the National Assembly
2. The Senator is in clear contempt of the court for such wild allegation that he knows to be untrue
3. The senator has by his baseless allegation impugned on .the integrity of the Senate President’s office and the hallowed court of appeal that gave the judgement.
His allegation is reckless, defamatory and childish for it lacks proof and merit.
He is requested to withdraw the statement immediately and apologise to both the Senate President and the Justices of the Court of Appeal, Abuja with wide publication in reputable newspapers and electronic media or risk measures that those two institutions may consider very appropriate in redressing this childish and thoughtless outburst.
The ball is in his court!
Special Adviser to the Senate President.