A non-governmental organisation, Face Of Waziri-Nigeria (FOWN), has alleged that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was making frantic effort to frustrate at least two of the Justices of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) to resign, so as to make mess of the judicial panel.
The Director General of the group, Comrade Bukky Adeniyi, made the allegation in a statement issued in Lagos on Thursday, July 21, 2023.
Adeniyi stated that given the existing legal proviso, which necessitated a replacement and retrieval in case any Judge resigns and consequently translates to buying time beyond the stipulated time by the Supreme Court, was a ploy to make the case statute barred and of no effect.
FOWN noted that the alleged surreptitious move made by President Tinubu was to make the Justices resign and the target was at ensuring the time frame of 180 days elapsed before the case is concluded by the panel
The statement reads, “the Justice has not resigned at the moment but we have it on good authority that Mr. Tinubu and his team are seriously working hard to threaten and frustrate one or two of them to resign so that the panel will be bereft of jurisdiction at this stage.
“This will lead to replacement and retrieval de novo. In which case, it will be statute barred once outside the 180 days stipulated by the constitution and attendant of which ends the matter, because Supreme Court cannot extend time.
“At the moment Tinubu is pressuring the tribunal. He wants two judges to withdraw or resign from the panel,” FOWN stated.
The group also cited a former PDP Governor from the South-South turned “APC lackey having allegedly helped to rig elections in Tinubu’s favour within the zone” is now being used to hoodwink the Justices to give favourable decision.
“A particular Governor formerly with the PDP but now in APC sequel Tinubu’s blessing from South-South is delegated to use document of money exchange between the government of that state and one or two of the justices in the past for judgement favour then, as a proof to harass and intimidate the justices to shift the judgement of the Tribunal in their favour.
The group, however, raised some poser on the matter: “How do you explain if at all such money exchange occurred in the past, to now want to use such to blackmail the Justice?
“Did the Justice or Justices demand for money the governor gave then or was given as thank you? In whatever case, the Tribunal matter is different from whatever transaction they had together in the past,” he added.