By Noah Ocheni, Lokoja
The President of a political pressure group, ‘Project Kogi Development’ (PKD), Kamal Toyin on Thursday in Lokoja kicked against the movement of the sitting of the state off -cycle Governorship Election Petition Tribunal from Lokoja to Abuja.
Toyin who told a press conference in Lokoja on Thursday that the relocation of the tribunal to Abuja was done in bad faith described the relocation as a “bias measure to protect corruption.”
Toyin said : “The President of the Court of Appeal should have launched a thorough investigation into the allegations against the Secretary before moving the Panel to Abuja.”
He vowed that the group : “will continue to monitor proceedings and expose any act of corruption around what is currently happening in Kogi State.
He pointed out that What the Secretary of the Panel claimed to be an attack wasn’t reported to have happened at the sitting of the Panel adding “Who gave the security advice to relocate the Panel? What was the rationale behind the relocation?”
Toyin said the just concluded governorship election in the state was the most divisive in the history of the state.
“A particular political party and certain politicians resorted to ethnic warfare, division fun and inflammatory statements which could have caused serious disaffection among the the ethnic groups that make up Kogi State.
The President took exceptions to the utterances and actions of Muritala Yakubu Ajaka, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) before, during and after the election.
“His utterances and actions are dangerous to the peace and unity of our dear state.His statement that a particular ethnic group is a common enemy is an invitation to crisis and breach of peace.”
“It was reckless and unexpected of a person who was nursing the dream of leading a state like Kogi State,” he said.
Toyin recalled some ugly incidents before and during the election, expressing worry that
the peace of the state is being threatened by those who lost the election.
He also decried the attack on the official residence of the state Resident Electoral Commissioner , alleging that the attack came after the SDP publicly declared that it had no confidence in the REC, Mr Gabriel Longpert.
He wondered why police and the DSS have not deem it fit to hold Ajaka accountable for his actions and utterances up till now.
“There must be something the two agencies are hiding from us. Is Muritala Yakubu Ajaka above the law? Does he enjoy immunity by virtue of his status as an candidate” ?
“The Police and the DSS have a lot to tell Kogites on why they are shielding Muritala Yakubu Ajaka from arrest despite all the atrocities traced to him and his men,” he said.
The group also threw its weight behind a sister group, the United Front for Democracy over its “in- depth investigations into the activities of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Kogi State.
“We have credible intelligence that the Secretary of the Panel, Mr David Umar Mike has heavily compromised.”
“His claims that the SDP filed petition before the expiration of the legally provided window was not only found to be false, but very bias and defensive of the SDP by a Secretary whose watchword should be neutrality.”
“As far as we are concerned, the Secretary has turned himself to the Secretary of the SDP.
“The Secretary forgot the fact that the world has become very technical and confirmation of payment via Remita is just a click away.
“All the material facts before us is that no payment was done via the Remit platform by the SDP before the expiration of the legally stipulated filing period.”
“He can be compromised but he can’t compromise Remita.”
“As far as we are concerned and according to the provision of Section 134 of the Electoral Act, the SDP has no petition before the Panel.”
“The party might have a petition with the Secretary which was given to him, ostensibly on Monday 4th December, 2023″.
“We believe the President of the Court of Appeal and the Chief Justice of Nigeria will be honourable enough to do what is fair, just and legal,” Toyin ascertained.