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“We’ll reverse S/Court decision on Borno – PDP Elders” – Vanguard

Elders and leaders of the Borno State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP said yesterday that they have concluded arrangements to reverse the decision of the Supreme Court.

According to Elders, they will pursue the case before the National Human Rights Commission and all other International Human Rights Organisations in view of what they termed infringement of their constitutional right to fair hearing.

The PDP Borno leaders said that the grounds on which the Supreme Court dismissed its petition on February 17, 2012, to the effect that the 180 days for the determination of election petitions had elapsed was unjustified, against the spirit of the constitution, the Electoral Act and lacked legal basis.

Addressing Journalists in Abuja yesterday, former governor of Borno State and PDP governorship candidate in last year’s governorship election, Alhaji Mohammed Goni, stressed that as elders and leaders of the party in the State, they were totally against the judgement of the apex Court on the petition it filed challenging the victory of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in the April 2011 governorship election.

Goni who led other PDP stalwarts from the state said, ‘’thus, this decision of the Supreme Court is tantamount to violations of the rules of natural justice, the right of fair hearing of the petitioner and an absolute violation of all the rules of interpretation of statutes.

‘’This interpretation of the provision of Section 285 (6) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, apparently appears to make the tribunals final courts and fails to consider the right of appeal given to litigants under Section 246 and 285 (7) of the constitution.

He noted that the PDP in Borno State had lost confidence that it would get justice right from when it filed its petition before the governorship election petition tribunal headed by Justice Sani Adamu on May 17, 2011.

Goni further alleged that based on the bias exhibited by the election tribunal, the PDP approached the Court of Appeal on August 10, 2011, before filing an application before the apex court seeking the court to assume jurisdiction and determine its appeal before the appellate court.

The former governor said that the party was shocked when the Supreme Court declined to assume jurisdiction to hear the PDP appeal pending before the Court of Appeal, Jos, on the grounds that the 60 day within which the appellate court ought to have determined the appeal had elapsed.

According to him, ‘’the refusal of the Supreme Court to determine our issues through accelerated hearing led to the expiration of the 60 days within which the appeal must be heard. We find this very unfortunate as it negates the principle of fair hearing.’’

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