Supreme Court: APC petitions NBA over Abure, Kenneth Okonkwo’s comments

THE All Progressives Congress (APC) has petitioned the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) over comments made by two lawyers regarding the recent Supreme Court judgement on the 2023 presidential election.

The party described the comments made by the National Chairman of the Labour Party, Julius Abure, and a spokesman of the party campaign council, Kenneth Okonkwo, both lawyers, as ‘deprecating remarks’ against the justices of the Supreme Court.

In the petition signed by the party’s national secretary, Ajibola Bashiru, the APC said that it believed Abure and Okonkwo’s obligations as legal practitioners had been violated by their criticism of the judges and the judiciary.

According to the PUNCH, Bashiru said he could not stand by and watch the judiciary’s image in Nigeria tarnished by those who should know better.

Responding to the petition in a statement on Sunday, October 29, the National Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party, Obiora Ifoh, said the petition against the LP members confirmed Abure’s earlier warning that President Bola Tinubu and the APC planned to go after his party’s chieftains and presidential candidate, Peter Obi.

“In that same statement, we drew attention to planned persecution, intimidation, suppression and harassment of our party leaders, and that members would likely be enforced using security agencies and other institutions of the state.

“The Labour Party views this action by the APC, less than three days after the Supreme Court judgment, as a confirmation of our suspicion and information of a campaign of persecution, harassment, intimidation and incarceration against the Labour Party and its overwhelming supporters, nationally and globally,” the LP said.

The LP said every court judgment, especially on political matters, was subject to criticism and administrative review.

“Therefore, for the APC to isolate our leaders for vilification, by exaggerated and misguided inferences, our fears of persecution have begun to materialise,” the party stated.

The LP added that it would stand firm and resolute to “anti- democratic actions, that are beginning to surface quite very early, under this government.”

The ICIR reported on Thursday, October 26, that the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal filed by the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and Peter Obi of the LP against the victory of President Bola Tinubu in the February 25 election.

In a unanimous ruling, the court described both petitions as incompetent and lacking merit.

Abubakar and Obi had sought the nullification of Tinubu’s victory over alleged irregularities and the presentation of forged academic certificates by the President.

While addressing the first issue in Obi’s appeal, the panel led by Inyang Okoro said Obi raised many of the same arguments as Abubakar’s prior appeal, which the court had rejected.

In a unanimous decision, the court dismissed Atiku and Obi’s petitions and upheld Tinubu’s victor. the Labour party chairman and some of its spokespersons.

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