The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called upon the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, to establish a judicial panel of inquiry to investigate allegations of All Progressives Congress (APC) influence in the recent Court of Appeal judgment that nullified the election of Plateau State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang.
The Court of Appeal, in a ruling on Sunday, set aside Mutfwang’s victory and declared APC candidate Muntawe Goshwe as the winner of the March 18 governorship poll in the state. The PDP, in response, expressed deep concerns over a viral video where APC leader Yusuf Gagdi, a member of the House of Representatives from Plateau State, allegedly boasted about having connections in the Supreme Court.
Debo Ologunagba, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, issued a statement on Monday, highlighting the party’s apprehension about the alleged special team within the APC aiming to influence judicial outcomes. The statement referenced Gagdi’s purported statement, suggesting that the APC had set up a team with the mission of inducing judicial officers to deliver judgments against the PDP.
Ologunagba emphasized the need for an investigation, stating, “This statement by Hon. Gagdi also lends credence to allegations that a former Governor of the APC reportedly induced members of the Plateau State Election Appeal Court Panel with the sum of $5 million to deliver a biased judgment against Governor Caleb Mutfwang’s victory at the poll.”
The PDP raised concerns about conflicting judgments in the National Assembly elections in Plateau State and warned of a potential crisis if the situation is not addressed promptly. The party, considering the judiciary as the last line of defense for democracy, urged the Chief Justice of Nigeria to initiate a high-powered panel to probe the claims of APC influence in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
In response, the National Publicity Director of the APC, Bala Ibrahim, dismissed the PDP’s claims, labeling the party a “bad loser.” Ibrahim emphasized the need for caution in the PDP’s language and accused them of attempting to dictate the rules and interpretation of the law in their favor.