ABUJA, Nigeria – The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has condemned the statement by the Rivers State government that he and Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, “sponsored thugs” to attack the residence of former governor, Peter Odili over the Bayelsa saga.
The government had warned Oshiomhole and Sylva to stop alleged attacks against Justice Mary Odili because she was a member of the Supreme Court panel that gave a unanimous verdict against the APC governor-elect in Bayelsa State, David Lyon.
Simon Ebegbulen, the ex-Edo governor’s spokesman, in a statement Thursday night, said the Rivers outburst signed by Paulinus Nsirim, the Commissioner for Information, was unbecoming of a government supposed to operate under the rule of law, including fairness and justice to all.
Ebegbulen stated that the statement was an egregious assault on the reputation that has taken Oshiomhole a life-time to build.
He insisted that Oshiomhole was not in any way involved in the action at Odili’s residence “whom Oshiomhole has tremendous respect as a friend of many years despite political differences”.
“As a matter of principle, Oshiomhole condemns any harassment Hon. Justice Mary Odili had suffered for a judgment she gave within her powers as a judicial officer,” he said.
The statement pointed out that Oshiomhole as a one-time beneficiary of judicial redress of injustice always holds the judiciary in the highest esteem and the obedience of court orders.
“Dissatisfied as a party, the APC under Oshiomhole’s leadership has returned to the Supreme Court seeking the review of the judgment. That is the democratic culture to which Oshiomhole subscribes”, it added.
“It would be expected that it is the police that should give account of what happened at the residence of Dr. Odili based on investigation and not the Rivers State government in Port Harcourt.
“The unsubstantiated allegation by the Rivers State government is, therefore, an insult on the APC National Chairman. It is an indecent thing for a state government to do in the circumstance,” he added.