Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Barely 48 hours after the Court of Appeal sacked the Senate Minority Whip and Senator representing Abia South, Senator Darlington Nwokocha, members of the Abia State chapter of the Labour Party, have taken to the streets to register their dissatisfaction with the judgment.
The LP members vehemently rejected the verdict and called for proper investigation of members of the panel.
A panel of the Appeal Court sitting in Lagos had declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Col. Austin Akobundu (Rtd), the winner of the February 25 senatorial election held in the senatorial district.
The party members who were adorned in black attire displayed placards describing the A’Court judgment as pervasive.
They expressed shock over the judgment which they described as strange, and called for its review.
Deputy Speaker of the State Assembly, Augustine Meregini, who led the protest said they party would not allow such injustice.
The protesters marched from the party secretariat on Ikot Ekpene Road to major streets, chanting solidarity songs in support of Senator Nwokocha.
The protesters also carried placards with various inscriptions such as: “Judicial impunity must stop;’ “we voted for Darlington Nwokocha and not Col. Austin Akobundu;” “Darlington’s mandate must be recovered;” among others.
Addressing the party supporters, the party Chairman in the state, Ceekay Igara, expressed disappointment over the judgment.
He wondered why the panel of the appeal that sacked Nwokocha also upheld the election of the member representing Isiala Ngwa North and South Federal Constituency, Chief Ginger Onwusibe, who had a similar case with him.
“We are in shock about the judgment because Section 77 of the electoral act, where the panel relied on to deliver the judgment which dealt with the membership of a party has been decided by the Supreme Court as an internal affair of the political party.
“We are demanding for the details of the judgement to enable our lawyers to study and decide on the next line of action.”