BAYELSA, Nigeria – PDP Diaspora Initiative, a US-based organization of diaspora members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has hailed the Thursday, February 13 decision of the Supreme Court as a big victory for democracy in Africa.
The Supreme Court, on Thursday directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return earlier issued to David Lyon (as governor-elect) and Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo (as deputy governor-elect) over falsification of academic credentials.
In a unanimous decision by a five-man panel of Justices led by Justice Mary Odili, the court held that Degi-Eremieoyo presented a forged certificate to INEC.
In a press statement from PDP Diaspora Initiative’s head office in Houston, United States of America, the organization’s founder and national chair, Hon. Victoria Pamugo commended “the Justice Mary Odili-led panel for doing the right thing this time.”
“In doing the right thing this time, the Supreme Court has sent a clear message to the whole world that there is potential that democracy and rule of law are possible in Nigeria,” Hon. Pamugo said.
“We commend the Justice Mary Odili panel for making sure that justice is done this time. But the court has got more work to do in other similar cases across the nation.
“It doesn’t smell right when there is a selective application of the law,” Hon. Pamugo said.
“If falsification of academic credentials can become so material as to warrant justice in Bayelsa, the Nigerian people must hope that the same judgment will apply equitably all across the nation, especially starting from Aso Rock,” she said.
Referring to the recent Supreme Court judgment in Imo State, where Emeka Ihedioha, was removed and replaced with an All Progressives’ Congress (APC) candidate who came fourth in the election, Hon. Pamugo expressed dissatisfaction over the decision, “which was a dirty slap in the face of justice and rule of law.
“We are calling on the Supreme Court to restore its public image as well as the people’s confidence in the judicial system by appointing a new panel to review the Imo State decision. Not doing so will continue to damage the people’s confidence in the system and the Imo State decision will remain an albatross of suspicions on the court’s neck.
“PDP Diaspora Initiative congratulates Senator Duoye Diri for his victory for the people of Bayelsa and wishes him great success in his agenda to deliver good roads, good health care, and quality education systems, to improve the people’s lives and reduce poverty in the state.
“PDP Diaspora Initiative is a registered non-profit organization based in the United States of America, with members from many countries, including Austria, Canada, Germany, Japan, Kenya, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States of America,” it said.