By Chimezie Godfrey
The Bayelsa state chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has condemned the deliberate falsehood peddled by agents of the opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
In a statement signed by the Director of Administration, APC, Bayelsa State, Emmanuel Ojise Ayakpo, the party clarified that the judgement delivered by Hon Justice I.T Cocodia between Mr Alex Izibenikibo Blackson vs All Progressives Congress and others did not nullify the party primaries of the APC in Bayelsa state.
Ayakpo therefore declared that the said judgment has nothing to do with the candidates of the All Progressives Congress in Bayelsa state, adding that all their candidates for House of Assembly, House of Representatives and Senate are legible and qualified to contest and win the forthcoming general elections.
The statement reads in part:”The attention of the Bayelsa state chapter of the All Progressives Congress has been drawn to deliberate falsehood circulated by Agents of gittering opposition political element to the effect that the judgement delivered by Hon Justice I.T Cocodia in Suit NO YHC/16/2022 between Mr Alex Izibenikibo Blackson vs All Progressives Congress and others On the 20th of January, 2023 has nullified the party primaries of the APC in Bayelsa state thereby sacking all its candidates for the house of Assembly, House of Representatives/ and Senate from contesting the forthcoming general elections.
“Ordinarily as a party focused on reclaiming our mandate to deliver the right dividend of democracy to the impoverished people of Bayelsa state, we were not minded to react to this patently false and malicious publication. However the intention of this falsehood circulated by enemies of the truth is misleading unassuming and deceptive.
“We are therefore compelled as a responsible political party with the obligation of always feeding the public with the truth to put the record straight.
“Let it be established straight away that the judgement delivered by Hon Justice I.T Cocodia of the High Court of Bayelsa state, has nothing to do with the candidates of the All Progressives Congress in Bayelsa state as all our candidates for House of Assembly, House of Representatives and senate are legible and qualified to contest and win the forthcoming general elections.
“As you are aware, the Bayelsa state chapter of the All Progressives Congress raised alarm on the 5th January,2023 over the brazen and unsuppressed display of bias/lack of impartiality and judicial excesses as set out above.
“The instant suit is that of the skin of Isau and the voice Jacob as members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party that have labored under the illusion that getting an architect job done in this will disqualify the candidates of the All Progressives Congress from contesting the forthcoming general elections. Have boasted and made it clear to the APC family that they will ditch out the Zamfara and rivers state experience to members of the APC in Bayelsa state.
“Curiously Hon. Justice I.T Cocodia has filial ties with the State Adviser to the Governor of Bayelsa state, High Chief Collins Cocodia thereby breeding a fertile for the judgement to be settled as a family business.
In the course of the proceedings Hon. I.T. Cocodia practically descended to the arena of the conflict by refusing to hear all the various application filed by the counsel to the Defendants, the ridiculous dimension to this quagmire is that the Defendants filed for application for Hon Justice I.T Cocodia to recuse himself from hearing Suit NO YHC/16/2022 between Mr Alex Izibenikibo Blackson and The All Progressives Congress and Others but he dismissed the applications Suomoto without hearing from the parties and held unto the records from previous proceeding without releasing same to the registrar to frustrate appeals.
“The All Progressives Congress petitioned the Hon. Chief judge of Bayelsa state and the National judicial council on the ignoble and dishonorable conduct of Hon. Justice I.T. Cocodia and same was brought to his attention, but in utter defiance to his oath of office As a Judge he ignored all the applications and petitions and adjourned the matter for judgement to his perfect architect assignment.
“Again before the delivery of the judgement on the 20th January, 2023 to the 1st and 4th Defendants Mr. Sammie A. Somiari SAN and I.S Damibide informed His Lordship, Hon. I.T Cocodia of the tendency of an interlucuting Appeal with motion for the sitting of proceeding and the records fully transmitted to the court of Appeal, which by law requires Hon. Justice. I.T. Cocodia stop proceedings pending the outcome of the matter on the Appeal but he proceeded to deliver judgement in favor of the claimant.
“Interestingly, as Hon Justice I.T Cocodia during the course of the hearing of the matter, demonstrated obvious and uncommon zeal to deliver judgement against the All Progressives Congress, the counsel to the All progressives also prepared there Notices of Appeal with motion for stay of execution of judgement and have filed same. The legal effect of the foregoing is that Dr Dennis Otiotio PhD led state Executive committee is still in power and shall remain in office until the matter is decided by the Court of Appeal.”
Ayakpo urged party faithfuls and candidates not to be distracted by the antics of the opposition political elements, as he assured of the party’s in the forthcoming elections.
“We therefore urge our party members, teeming supporters and our esteemed candidates not to be distracted by the antics of politically gittering and legally naïve opposition political element but to go about their lawful business and campaigns to bring the assured victory to our Great Party,” he stated.