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.
In its resolve to ensure justice is served without undue interference, the group also explained how Tinubu has tried again to shroud in secrecy his Chicago State University saga having known that the truth, if revealed, will further worsen his plight.
“He faulted the recent move by the counsel to the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, to subpoena the institution on the need to ascertain authenticity of documents relating to his attendance at Chicago State University.
Recall that Atiku had in a petition dated July 11, 2023, by and through his attorneys, requested the court to “issue subpoena commanding a corporate representative of Resident Chicago State University (Respondent) to appear for deposition upon oral examination of the topics set forth in Exhibit A attached hereto at the offices of Dechert LLP at 35 West Wacker Drive, Suite 3400, Chicago, Illinois 60601 on July 21, 2023 at 9.00am.”
The respondent is expected, amongst other things to, “testify and give evidences and in support thereof states as follows: “That non-party Bola Ahmed Tinubu is currently the President of Nigeria and is facing various court proceedings concerning his election and the authenticity of documents relating to his attendance at Chicago State University; “That Mr. Tinubu had previously asserted that he attended various educational institutions located in the Chicago area, including but not limited to Chicago State University;
“To test the truth and veracity of Mr. Tinubu’s assertions, Petitioner must depose a corporate representative of Respondent Chicago State University (Respondent) regarding educational record or lack thereof, from respondent;
“To identify and determine if Mr. Tinubu attended above-mentioned institution, petitioner needs deposition testimony regarding the following information, as outlined in Exhibit A, including but not limited to admission information pertaining to Mr. Tinubu, proof of enrolment and attendance of Mr. Tinubu, and any degrees Mr. Tinubu attained from the Respondent.”