The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said Justice Adeniyi Ademola was not competent to issue a ruling directing the 37 members of the House of Representatives, who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC, to vacate their seats because the issue of whether they could defect or not, was not brought before him.
In a statement, Tuesday, by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, APC vowed to appeal the ruling because Justice Ademola’s perpetual injunction restraining the concerned lawmakers from participating in motions and debates in the House is unconstitutional and negates the very purpose for which the lawmakers were elected into the House in the first place.
It said Justice Ademola’s unsolicited comments were clearly gregarious, unnecessary, superfluous and has no foundation in law or fact, hence should be ignored.
The party then requested the Chief Justice of the Federation to move urgently to sanction Justice Ademola for engaging in mischief that could bring the bench into disrepute.
“If this case had been issued a day later than Monday, we would have said the Judge was caught in the web of April Fool! Alas, he indeed made the ruling on Monday, hence the need for us to take it very seriously for several reasons.
“Firstly, the question whether the House of Representatives members should vacate their seats was not a question before Justice Ademola for determination. The only question for him to determine was whether the APC members, with their numerical strength at that time, had the right to change the House leadership such as the Majority Leader, Chief Whip and their deputies. So Justice Ademola had no business commenting on seats being vacated.
“Secondly, it is highly unprofessional and unethical for one Judge to delve into a matter that is sub judice in another court. A Judge should not make comments on matters being litigated in another court. The question of seats being vacated or otherwise is being heard by Justice Ahmed Mohammed in the Federal High Court in Abuja who, on 29 March 2014, said the issue was still live before him and is not ripe for Judgment”, the party said.
APC recalled the alarm it raised in a statement on Dec. 14th 2013, to the effect that the ruling PDP is shopping for a pliant Judge, who will be heavily induced to do its bidding, in the case over the defections of the lawmakers to the APC.
In that statement, APC had warned against any attempt by the PDP and the Presidency to turn back the hands of the clock as far as the cleaning up of the judiciary is concerned, by inducing a servile and disreputable Judge to do their bidding.
Quoting from that statement, the main opposition party said: “We recognize the efforts of the present CJN to sanitize the Judiciary since she assumed the mantle of leadership but she should not allow any black leg to reverse the gains that have been recorded on the altar of unmitigated avarice. This is because if that happens, Nigerians will hold the Judiciary vicariously liable for the catastrophic consequences that may follow”.
Noting that the alarm it raised then has now proven to be prescient, the party wondered whether there was any link between what is clearly an exercise in judicial rascality and President Goodluck Jonathan’s recent boast in Kwara that the PDP would soon retrieve its ‘stolen’ mandate from those who defected from the PDP to the APC.
“That presidential boast raises the following questions: What did the president know and when did he know it? Was this judgment procured by the PDP for a price, in which case the president’s statement amounted to a Freudian slip? Are we to expect more of this?
“It is necessary to unravel this so the PDP and the presidency, in their desperation, will not paint the judiciary with their brush of failure and crash our democracy”, the party stressed.