A member of the Buhari/Osinbajo Presidential Campaign Council, Akwa Ibom State chapter, Mr. Sunny Jackson, has warned against linking President Muhammadu Buhari with the relocation of the State Election Petition Tribunal from Uyo, the State capital, to Abuja.
Jackson said that before Buhari was sworn-in as President, the tribunal had already been inaugurated by the judiciary and had started sitting in states where free and fair elections were not allowed.
A former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Uwemedimo Nwoko, had lampooned those behind the movement of the election petition tribunal from Akwa Ibom to Abuja, saying they would regret their action.
Speaking at the weekend, Nwoko described the movement of the tribunal as “unconstitutional, baseless and lacking any justification”, just as he pointed out that the PDP and the state chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association would challenge the decision in court.
Reacting to speculations on Sunday that President Buhari had instigated the relocation of the tribunal to the nation’s capital, Jackson, who is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in the state, described the claim as absurd.
He said, “It is a normal constituted authority that should go into crisis or problems wherever there is an issue. I think that is what they have done. By virtue of the constitution of the tribunal and the legal framework, if they feel that the area where they are sitting is not safe for them, the tribunal is obliged to move members into any other part of the country as it is not under the jurisdiction of any state or particular area.
“The tribunal is appointed by either the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal, which is in Abuja, and if the members were sent from Abuja to Uyo, they can equally be relocated to areas that suit them.
“So, I don’t think legally or constitutionally they have defaulted in anyway by moving the location of the tribunal to Abuja as the case maybe. And if anybody is talking about impunity I think it is the Peoples Democratic Party that we should be talking about because whatever they have done in the past they used to say ‘what money cannot do, more money can do’”, he said.