Benue: Group raises alarm over plot to alter cause of justice


By Sunday Ogli, Makurdi

GROUP known as Benue Coalition for Democracy, has raised the alarm over a plot to circumvent justice in the case instituted by the former Minister of Justice, Chief Mike Kaase Aondoakaa, SAN challenging the APC governorship primary election in Benue State which purportedly produced Fr Hyacinth Alia as the party’s flagbearer.

The group in a statement signed by its coordinator, Aloysius Gbakaan and made available to newsmen in Makurdi on Monday, particularly expressed shock at the sudden suspension of judgment by the Federal High Court handling the case.

It stated that the postponement of the judgment was a calculated attempt by the All Progressives Congress, APC to pressurise the judiciary to circumvent justice.

The group therefore urged all lovers of democracy and justice to resist the move inorder to protect the integrity of the judiciary and the electoral system.

“As a pro-democracy organization that seeks the cause of justice in all electoral matters across all political parties, we view the postponement of the judgment as a calculated attempt by the APC to buy more time to mount pressure on the judiciary to circumvent justice in their favour.

“This move must be resisted by all lovers of democracy and justice to protect the integrity of the judiciary and our electoral system.

“We wonder why a court would schedule a date to deliver a judgment and then on the scheduled date come up with a claim that the judgment is not ready and could not even communicate a new date. That is impunity taken too far,” the pro-democracy group stated.

It further stated that it was aware that a leader of APC in the state through one lawyer who is also a member of the APC in the state and a staff in the Federal Ministry of Justice have been making concerted efforts to manipulate the court judgment, which it said may be the reason for the curious postponement.

“We however reaffirm our confidence in the judiciary as the last hope of the ordinary Nigerian, and we remain firmly optimistic that the judiciary will serve justice in the matter without the fear of intimidation or victimization as this is the only way to strengthen our judicial and electoral systems.

“As the arbiter, we demand the judiciary to remain impartial and not compromise to pervert the course of justice. We expect a new date for judgment on the Benue governorship suit to be fixed quickly and the verdict passed.

“We caution APC leaders in Benue State and those aiding them from the presidency to desist from putting pressure on the judiciary over the lawsuit in question and allow justice to prevail. If they are confident that they conducted a free and fair governorship primary election, why the fear and movement from pillar to post?” the group wondered.

It, however, commended Aondokaa for taking the noble path of seeking justice in the court of competent jurisdiction to deepen democracy in the country, stressing that democracy thrives when citizens comply with the rule of law and the judiciary upholds its integrity.