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Election Litigation Outcomes: Group Wants Activities of Judges Investigated

Abdulwahab Muhammad, Bauchi

Disturbed by what it titled "Recent Controversial Judicial Phenomenon and Radical Religious Ideologues as the Bane to our Nascent Democracy and Peaceful coexistence" a group known as Arewa Christians and Indigenous Pastors Association (ACIPA) has during the weekend called on the anti-graft agencies to investigate the development without delay.

According to the group, there was the urgent need for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Department of State Security (D.S.S) and the Independent Corrupt Practice Commission (ICPC) to investigate and unearth the motive behind the recent happenings relating to judgements by the Appellate court, most especially as it affects the North.

The Chairman of the group, Rev. Luke Shehu who made the call in a press statement, noted that the anti-graft agencies will have a field day with their investigations into activities of Judges and registrars handling election tribunals and Appeal cases.

"Therefore, we call on the relevant security and anti-graft organizations to immediately swing into actions without delay", he demanded. 

"After a wide and dexterous consultations with major Muslim stake-holders, Christian clerics, monarchs, Nigeria National Christian Coalition (NNCC), the youths and women, it became imperative and urgent for ACIPA to make this statement, particularly with regards what is becoming a judicial rascality phenomenon", the group said.

It worried that: "across the regions and specifically in Northern Nigeria, the people whos' vote matter in election process have lost confidence in the judicial process especially with regards to election petition tribunal cases of Federal Legislatures and governors".

Rev. Shehu accused the judiciary of becoming a den for trading of sorts in a scramble for the dividend of democracy from an always desperate corrupt politicians.

The group said that the sudden decision for the Appeal Courts with regards election matters to be sitting only in Lagos and Abuja was highly suspicious, the number of Judges either recusing their membership of panel or re-assigned to cases rises more eyebrows.

"It is obvious that the hallowed chambers where learned men and women could dispense justice fairly have become a den for trading of sorts in a scramble for the dividend of democracy from an  always desperate corrupt politicians", the Chairman maintained. 

The group contended that the votes of millions of Nigerians cannot be traded with by Judicial Officers using legal semantics or technicalities to jettison, deny an elected candidate or unseat a popular candidate. 

While congratulating President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on his election, the ACIPA Chairman reminded him that the International Community is watching while the country's Judiciary makes mockery of the process of Justice and Democracy.

ACIPA alleged that the recent outburst by a top proponent of the manipulations of the Plateau state election, Hon. Yusuf Gagdi was a confirmation of the obvious intrigues in the Judiciary as a tool for politicians.

"Otherwise why should Hon.  Yusuf Gagdi say, "...they will know whom we know" with regards to the pending Appeal and Supreme Court cases. Certainly the Judicial recklessness and rascality exhibited by some election petition tribunals and Appeal courts cases is unacceptable and need to be stopped now", the group submitted.

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