Kogi Guber: Group writes Court of Appeal, seeks transparency amid tribunal verdict

Arogbonlo Israel

A group simply identified as Nigeria Integrity Movement (NIM), has appealed the leadership of the Court of Appeal to exercise due diligence, transparency and sense of justice in constituting members of the Appeal Panel that will adjudicate in the Kogi Gubernatorial Election case.

Recall the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal delivered it's split judgement on Saturday, May 23 2020. Two members of the Panel, Justices Kashim G. Kaigama from Yobe State and Baraka Wali from Katsina State ruled in favour of Alhaji Yahaya Bello of All Progressives Congress (APC) while Justice Ohimai Ovbiagele from Edo State stood against the above. The details of the judgement is in the public domain.

As a result of the above, the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the election, Engr. Musa Wada have vowed to approach the Court of Appeal for enduring justice to be served.

In the light of this, the group in its letter dated May 26 2020, called the attention of the Acting President of the Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem to the alleged travesty of justice in the Kogi State election petitions, adding the recent judgement of the tribunal did not go down well with many keen observer of Nigeria's Justice System.

"The Acting President, Court of Appeal, Honourable Justice Monica B. Dongban-Mensem, is known for her unquestionable integrity and as we have always told Nigerians, the world is waiting to see the constitution and decisions of the Appeal Panel as the aggrieved parties seek judicial redress," Mr. Kayode Esan who signed the letter on behalf of the group said.

"We wish to reiterate that it is privy to the surreptitious moves by some persons to undermine and subvert justice in favour of certain party to the case. In this wise, we express our disappointment in strongest terms against the decisions of Justice Kashim Kaigama and his colleague that sacrificed justice on the alter of personal interests at the Kogi State election tribunal."

The non partisan group also called the attention of the President, Court of Appeal to the subversive activities of Presiding Justice Abdul Aboki of Abuja Divison of the Appeal Court that acted and may still act as a hatchet man for purchase of justice for a certain candidate in the Kogi State Election Petition and who is one of the judicial officers in Nigeria polluting the stream of justice.

"We are aware that his (Justice Aboki) interest in the Kogi State affair stems from his alleged indigenship of Koton-Karfe in Kogi State, even though officially, he claims to hail from Kano State.

"He has enjoyed unmerited largesse from Kogi State Government with the most recent being the rehabilitation of road leading to his personal mosque located between Internal Revenue Road and Lapo Microfinance Bank office in Lokoja," the group alleged.

The NIM further demanded the extra-judicial murder of innocent citizens during the November 2019 gubernatorial election in the State should not be ignored, more importantly as the Inspector General of Police (IGP) had openly admitted that fake policemen recruited by the APC candidate outnumbered and out-gunned his men.

"An election conducted under such unprecedented violence cannot be said to be free and fair. Allowing such a dangerous precedent to survive through judicial abracadabra portends doom for our tenuous democracy," the group added.

"We wish to extend her highest level of respect and confidence in the ability of the leadership of the Court of Appeal to countenance the observations of NIM as presented above as it sets out to hear the appeal of the aggrieved party in the Kogi State Election Petition. We are watching!" The group concluded.

Vanguard learnt the letter was copied to the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and Chief Judge of the Federal Republic of Nigeria respectively.

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