The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) raises alarm over the imminent subversion of justice at the Appeal or Supreme Court in the case of Chief Willy Obiano of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Vs Comrade Tony Nwoye of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Senator Chris Ngige of All Progressives Congress (APC) for the final determination of the validity of the election of Obiano as Governor of Anambra state in theNovember 16, 2013 governorship election in the state. This is sequel to the uncanny recruitment of Barrister Mustapha Majiyagbe, son of Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).
CNPP is outraged that shortly after the tribunal in Awka, Anambra state, hurriedly delivered judgment against the two political parties in an election that was less than transparent. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which did not endeavor to produce witnesses at the lower tribunal, suddenly bent backwards to recruit the son of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar, Barrister Mustapha Majiyagbe, for the forth coming appeals.
The CNPP therefore smelt foul play when Barrister Majiyagbe announced appearance for INEC in the Supreme Court and is of the candid view that this will generate conflict of interest and subvert the cause of justice when the matter finally goes to the Appeal Court and subsequently to the Supreme Court where the CJN, presides.
'CNPP is relying on an old adage which states that once beaten twice shy, for we vividly recall that similar incident occurred in not too distant past in the case of Gen. Mohammadu Buhari (Rtd), - Presidential Election Tribunal, when the son of Justice James Ogebe was conscripted into INEC legal team as is in this case. Buhari lost the case. And the same Majiyagbe was recruited in similar circumstance by Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko in 2013 and the rest they say is history.'.....CNPP Spokesman.
Mr. Osita Okechukwu, CNPP National Publicity Secretary raised this alarm during the weekend, insisting that some judges out of self interest goes against the rule of law as evidenced with the hurry in which Justice Ishaq Bello pronounced judgment without allowing the Supreme Court deliver judgment on the cross appeal objections raised by the plaintiffs, contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act. Hence eroding the trite law that transparency in the administration of justice is one of the core ingredient of democracy.
Going further he said, “We have nothing against Barrister Mustapha Majiyagbe for carrying out his professional duties, however, it must be noted that he
was not among INEC team of lawyers at Justice Ishaq Bello lower Tribunal in Awka and in fact, he is not a member of the well known INEC Consortium of senior counsels - Awomolo, Ikpeazu, Muhmud, Raji; therefore as the only child, he was recruited as a conduit to influence her lovely Mom, the CJN. Otherwise was his recruitment not an afterthought?'
' We call on those judges or justices who subvert the cause of justice in order to become Chief Judge or elevated to the Appeal or Supreme Court to desist forthwith in the collective interest of our fledgling democracy.'
'CNPP also calls on the National Assembly to amend the Electoral Act and relevant laws to bestow the Burden of Proof on INEC in order to guarantee transparent, free and fair Ekiti, Osun States and 2015 general elections. An impartial umpire is the sine qua non to the survival of our fledgling democracy and our dear nation.'
Mr Osita Okechukwu
National Publicity Secretary