An All Progressives Congress senator, Magnus Abe, has accused the Peoples Democratic Party of making a willful and malicious attempt to misinform President Muhammadu Buhari on the activities of the Nigerian Army and the Department of State Services at the Rivers State National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal.
Abe, in a letter addressed to the President, urged Buhari to ignore the allegation by the PDP that himself and other members of the APC in Rivers State were working in connivance with the army and DSS to compromise the election petitions tribunal or influence the tribunal in their favour.
He described the said petition by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, as baseless and one written in bad faith to as “a cheap attempt to misled your good self and the general public on what actually transpired at the tribunal and the circumstances surrounding it.
Metuh had recently raised the alarm that the APC was using the army and the DSS to compromise the Rivers State National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal.
But Abe described the petition by the PDP as a calculated attempt to ridicule and discredit not only the PDP but also the “highly revered institution of the Nigerian Army and the Director General of the DSS.”
According to him, contrary to the claim by the PDP that APC deployed the military to the tribunal, it was the tribunal which subpoenaed the Chief of Army Staff and the DG of DSS or any officer under them to appear before it to testify on what they witnessed during the March 28 National Assembly elections in Rivers State.
“It is therefore mischievous and unreasonable for anybody, especially the PDP, Rivers State, to cast baseless aspersions on these gallant officers of the Nigerian Army and the DSS. One can only wonder whether it would not have been foolhardy for the Chief of Army Staff and the DG of the DSS to refuse to comply with the sacrosanct order of the tribunal.
“In fact, such an act would not only have been foolish, same is indeed a crime as refusal to comply with the tenor of a subpoena is punishable with a criminal contempt proceeding against the culprit,” Abe said.
Accusing the PDP of insincerity, Abe said the party deliberately refused to tell Buhari that the army and the DSS were not the only ones that the tribunal invited to give evidence.
He said the tribunal also invited the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mrs. Gesila Khan, who he accused of conniving with the PDP to frustrate the case of the APC.
“No doubt, this willful concealment is a manifestation of the unholy alliance between the Rivers State PDP and Mrs. Gesila Khan. It is on record that despite numerous applications and solicitations to the REC for release of electoral materials, purportedly used by INEC, she has consistently refused to release the said documents to us, in order to frustrate and jeopardise our chances in the proof of our respective cases before the election tribunal,” Abe told Buhari.