Yenagoa—The Bayelsa State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has refuted a report which claims that its primary election has been nullified and its candidates for the 2023 general election in the state sacked by a judgment delivered by Hon Justice I.T Cocodia in suit NO YHC/16/2022 between it and Mr Alex Izibenikibo Blankson.
The party which stated that the report is
misleading, unassuming and deceptive, averred that it was compelled as a responsible political party with the obligation of always feeding the public with the truth to put the record straight.
In a statement by Emmanuel Ojise Ayakpo, Director of Administration, APC Bayelsa, the party revealed that the judgement delivered by Hon Justice Cocodia of the High Court of Bayelsa state has nothing to do with its candidates.
Ayakpo noted that all of the party’s candidates for the House of Assembly, House of Representatives and Senate are eligible to contest and win the forthcoming general elections.
“As you are aware, the Bayelsa state chapter of the All Progressives Congress raised an alarm on the 5th of January, 2023 over the brazen and unsuppressed display of bias/lack of impartiality and judicial excesses as set out above.
“The instant suit is that of the skin of Esau and the voice of Jacob as members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party that have laboured under the illusion that getting an architect job done in this will disqualify the candidates of the All Progressives Congress from contesting the forthcoming general elections.
“Have boasted and made it clear to the APC family that they will ditch out the Zamfara and Rivers state experience to members of the APC in Bayelsa state.
“Curiously, Hon. Justice I.T Cocodia has filial ties with the State Adviser to the Governor of Bayelsa state, High Chief Collins Cocodia thereby breeding a fertile for the judgement to be settled as a family business.
“In the course of the proceedings, Hon. I.T. Cocodia practically descended into the arena of the conflict by refusing to hear all the various applications filed by the counsel to the Defendants.
“The ridiculous dimension to this quagmire is that the Defendants filed for an application for Hon Justice I.T Cocodia to recuse himself from hearing Suit NO YHC/16/2022 between Mr Alex Izibenikibo Blackson and the All Progressives Congress and Others but he dismissed the applications suomoto without hearing from the parties and held unto the records from previous proceeding without releasing same to the registrar to frustrate appeals.
“The All Progressives Congress petitioned the Hon. Chief judge of Bayelsa state and the National Judicial Council on the ignoble and dishonourable conduct of Hon. Justice I.T. Cocodia and same were brought to his attention, but in utter defiance to his oath of office as a Judge, he ignored all the applications and petitions and adjourned the matter for judgement to his perfect architect assignment,” the statement reads in part.
Ayakpo stressed that before the delivery of the judgement on the 20th January 2023 to the 1st and 4th Defendants, “Mr Sammie A. Somiari SAN and I.S Damibide informed Hon. I.T Cocodia of the tendency of an interlocutory appeal with a motion for the sitting of proceeding and the records fully transmitted to the Court of Appeal.
According to him, this, by law, requires Hon. Justice. I.T. Cocodia stop proceedings pending the outcome of the matter on the Appeal but he proceeded to deliver judgement in favour of the claimant.
“Interestingly, as Hon Justice I.T Cocodia during the course of the hearing of the matter, demonstrated obvious and uncommon zeal to deliver judgement against the All Progressives Congress, the counsel to the All progressives also prepared their Notices of Appeal with a motion for stay of execution of judgement and have filed same.”
“The legal effect of the foregoing is that the Dr Dennis Otiotio led state Executive committee is still in power and shall remain in office until the matter is decided by the Court of Appeal,” the statement added.
The party urged its members, supporters and candidates not to be distracted by the antics of opposition political elements, but to go about their lawful business and campaigns to bring victory to the party.