Even when the Rivers State Election Petitions Tribunal had been transferred to Abuja on the promptings of opposition parties who cited insecurity, it is surprising that the same opposition has continued to harangue the tribunal.
It is a truism that beyond the insecurity they gave as excuse for causing the relocation of the umpire to Abuja their real reason was their imagined belief that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who won the governorship and the State House of Assembly elections could manipulate the outcome of the tribunal verdict.
Now that they should be happy that they had recorded what could be termed pyrrhic victory by the relocation, the opposition political parties have gone to the juggler of the tribunal, accusing it of pandering to the whims and caprices of the Rivers PDP.
Callers who responded to the newspaper review session of a popular Radio station seemed to have noticed the opposition parties, penchant to blackmail the Rivers Election Petitions Tribunal, and have asked those criticizing the umpire to allow it to do the job entrusted on them.
According to some of the callers, haranguing members of the tribunal will not make them do the wrong thing, as they will examine the various petitions brought before them and treat them on their merit.
“The tribunal were composed of men and women of honour and integrity who would not succumb to cheap blackmail”, one of the callers said.
Another caller David Amadi said the PDP that should be complaining that the Tribunal was taken to Abuja has remained silent, expressing surprise that it was the same opposition who caused the tribunal to be relocated that were still criticizing it. He urged aggrieved contestants who had forwarded their petitions to the tribunal to allow it do their job.
The Rivers State Election Petitions Tribunal was lawfully constituted to handle the petitions arising from the 2023 Governorship/State House of Assembly elections, and should be allowed to thoroughly examine the various petitions brought before it without interference from any quarters.
Being men and women of integrity, and knowing that they had been entrusted with a task that would make or mar the state, they would not allow themselves to be compromised.
The chairman of the Election Petitions tribunal in an inaugural address alluded to this fact, stressing that the tribunal will discharge its duties diligently and faithfully.