The Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has criticised Governor of the state, Rotimi Amaechi for disregarding due process and the law in his appointment of Acting Chieh judge of the state, Hon. Justice P. N. C. Agumagu.
In a statement released on Wednesday by Special Assistant to the Rivers State PDP Chairman, Jerry Needam, the party identified Amaechi as a danger to democracy and the sustenance of the rule of law, and called for his dismissal from the party.
“The attention of the Peoples Democratic Party, Rivers State chapter, has been once again drawn to Governor Chibuike Amaechi’s reckless disregard of the rule of law and due process in his incongruous appointment of a judge of the Rivers State Customary Court of Appeal, who incidentally, is its president, Honourable Justice P. N. C. Agumagu, as the Acting Chief Judge of Rivers State in clear violation of the express provisions of section 271(4) of the 1999 Constitution,” the statement began.
“This appointment, which was effected early morning, Tuesday August 20, 2013 paid no regard whatsoever to the Constitutional provision that it is the most senior judge of the High Court of Rivers State that ought to be so appointed. We therefore totally, completely and unequivocally condemn the appointment.
“As a political party, the Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State is not interested in the appointment of any particular judge as Acting Chief Judge of Rivers State. We are interested in the observance of due process.”
The party argued that Section 271(4) of the 1999 Constitution does not admit of discretion but rather limits the position of Acting Chief of Rivers State to the most senior judge of the High Court of Rivers State, which Honourable Justice P. N. C. Agumagu is not.
“Our leader, His Excellency President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan GCFR is known for his commitment to the rule of law and due process in all he does. He insists that we, as members of the Peoples Democratic Party, do observe the due process of law. In fact, due process of law and constitutionalism returned Governor Amaechi to power in 2007,” the statement continued.
“We therefore once again appeal to our national leadership that Governor Amaechi whom we have since identified as a danger to Democracy and the sustenance of the Rule of Law must be expelled from the Peoples Democratic Party forthwith. He is a net electoral liability.
“We wish to inform the good people of Rivers State that the Peoples Democratic Party has no hand in the perfidious appointment of Honourable Justice P. N. C. Agumagu as Acting Chief Judge of Rivers State in clear negation of the recommendation of the National Judicial Council and the provisions of the 1999 Constitution.”
The statement further observed that the National Judicial Council must have had genuine and cogent reasons for rejecting Honourable Justice P. N. C. Agumagu’s bid to become Chief Judge of Rivers State.
“Governor Amaechi in his usual penchant to pick battles and wars where none exists cannot accept that decision. He has again picked the gauntlet and pitched battle with the Chief Justice of Nigeria Honourable Justice Aloma Mukhtar and the National Judicial Council (NJC) for doing their work in accordance with their rules. Governor Amaechi must rewrite the NJC’s rules of appointment to soothe his personal whims and caprices in order that Justice P. N. C. Agumagu is appointed Chief Judge of Rivers State at all costs! True imperial dictation by Emperor Amaechi, conqueror of Nigeria (CON).
“We inform the good people of Rivers State and all Nigerians that the Rivers State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has no hand in this perfidious dance joyously executed by Imperial Governor Amaechi and Honourable Justice Agumagu to the macabre tune of unconstitutional music. The sole object of Governor Amaechi’s conduct is to portray the Peoples Democratic Party as lawless thus laying the foundation of electoral disaster for the Party in 2015,” it went on.
“The national leadership of our great party should expeditiously recognize Governor Amaechi as the monumental danger to democracy he truly is and throw him out of the Party. Governor Amaechi cares less about rules and regulations, due process and the rule of law but more about his personal and political ego. Governor Amaechi’s continued association in any manner howsoever with the Peoples Democratic Party is an electoral liability to us in Rivers State in particular and the party at large as his lawlessness continuously taints our great Party. We urge Rivers People and the members of the Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State to remain calm for after the storm there is always calm.”
Source: Huhu Online
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