The Nigerian opposition coalition, CUPP has raised alarm over an alleged move by the President of the Court of Appeal Justice Zainab A. Bulkachuwa to disband yet again the Kano Governorship Appeal Panel.
she set up and reconstitute the Panel for a third time without considering the views of the ordinary Nigerian and the fate of all the litigants who deserve justice within the constitutionally provided time.
CUPP said “The reconstituting of the Panel for the third time under very unclear circumstances even to the Parties before the Court is arbitrary, and has been viewed by mass of Kano indigens as forum shopping and bastardization of the judiciary.
” Knowing that Kano State is a very volatile State, the President of the Court of Appeal is toying with national security and jeopardizing the lives of citizens by these frequent, suspicious and unexplained changes in the Panel.”
In a statement signed by the National Spokesperson of CUPP, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, he wondered why the President of the appallate Court would be changing the panel even before it begins sitting.
He also wondered if Justice Bulkachuwa was searching for a panel that would dance to her tunes.
“Will the President of the court of Appeal admit that it was incompetence on her part that she needed to set up a Panel three times for an election Appeal where the difference in the declared election was so narrow? Could the President of the Appeal Court boldly notify Nigerians why she suddenly becomes uncomfortable with the Panel she set up even before they begin sitting?
“What was the error in the first panel that needed to be corrected in the second panel that could not also be corrected that warranted the third panel? Is the President of the Court of Appeal searching for a favourable Panel that will do an Oh Yes job for her to return the governor who was the candidate of the ruling APC party?
“The political interferrences in the judiciary have never been this bad. There are now allegations that members of the ruling APC now select the members of the Appeal Panels to hear their cases. They choose who stays on the panel and who gets removed. These allegations are rife and the President of the Court of Appeal must dispel it and reassure Nigerians that what was done was for good reasons and actually state the reasons. It is a very dangerous trend for Nigerians to believe that judgments of Court are now for the highest bidder. It is a recipe for anarchy and resort to self-help when citizens do not have implicit confidence in the courts.We call on the Appeal Court President to allow the already constituted Panel to start their work in the Interest of Justice,” Ugochinyere stated.
He said Nigerians hoped that Justice Bulkachuwa’s actions were not “the direct impact of the dollars that were shown in discreet videos being stuffed into the babanriga of one of the interested parties in the election.”
The CUPP spokesperson called on the international community, particularly the American and UK governments to keep a close eye on the happenings in the Kano Appeal Tribunal and the office of the President of the Court of Appeal and take the necessary actions against any person whose action jeopardizes the lives of Nigerians and leads to breakdown of law an order.