Northern group urges Tinubu, NJC to prevail on judiciary over Kogi guber Tribunal

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…Alleges ‘judicial rascality’ against SDP candidate

A pro-democracy group on the aiges of Northern Initiative for the Defence of Democracy and Justice (NIDDM) has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Chairman of the National Judicial Commission (NJC) to prevail on the judiciary and stop ongoing “judicial rascality” in the Kogi State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal.

The group, a non-partisan organization, also appealed to the members of the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal to be firmed, and never to allow themselves to be cowed or intimidated by whatever order coming from above.

Appeal Court sitting in Abuja had recently over-ruled the earlier decision of the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting also in Abuja.

The earlier decision of the Tribunal was that all parties involved in the case to jointly inspect the 11th November, 2023 governorship election materials used on the said election date

But reacting to the development through a statement released Monday in Abuja by the NIDDJ”s coordinator, Ambassador Nureeddeen Musa Sadiq, said the recent judgement reversing earlier decision of the Tribunal on the inspection of materials came as a major surprise to many who have been following the activities and openness of the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.

According to the statement, this is just the first time in recent years that an appellate court will be meddling, interrupting and usurping the true powers of a tribunal and trying to distract it from performing its traditional role. Our fear is that if such unhindered interruption is allowed then, the future is blink for the judiciary and the entire country.

“The crux of the matter is that the tribunal, which is a direct fact-finding panel of some sort, has all the powers to issue directives and orders on the mode of its operandi in order to accomplish its duties.

“Let us reflect on the Appeal Court decision in the Plateau State House of Assembly and National Assembly election cases which if allowed to go to Supreme Court would have changed the current narrative in the state because judicial recklessness became the order of the day in Plateau State.

“We want to appeal to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Chairman National Judicial Commission to prevail on the judiciary and stop all these judicial rascality. The judiciary should and must be restored to its rightful position in Nigeria. This is a passionate appeal from the common people of this country. Justice should not become a commodity that can easily be bought over by some undemocratic elements in the society.

“For your information, this group, the Northern Initiative for the Defence of Democracy and Justice, is a non-partisan organization, working hard and advocating for justice, fairness and helping to promote the tenets that will help an enduring democracy in the country as well promoting happy living of our people.

“We, the members of the Northern Initiative for the Defence of Democracy and Justice is hereby appealing to the members of the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal to be firmed, and never to allow themselves to be cowed or intimidated by whatever order coming from above. Please stand by the truth and do the right thing.”

While making reference to a statement by one Mr. Isaiah Ijele on the matter, the group said all parties involved in the Tribunal case had agree to commence inspections on the 4th of January 2024 but on the 1st of January 2024 J B Daudu SAN wrote that he had instruction of Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo not to take part in the inspection on the ground that he was yet to be served personally with the orders of inspections.

Checks however revealed that Alhaji Muritala Yakubu Ajaka and the Social Democratic Party have instructed his legal teal to appeal to the Supreme Court against the orders of the Court of Appeal.