The All Progressives Congress on Thursday warned the government of the New Nigeria People’s Party in Kano State against dragging the name of the chairman of the National and State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, Hon. Justice Flora Ngozi Azinge, to disrepute because of its apparent dismal defence performance at the tribunal.
The APC said the deliberate attempt by the Kano State government to malign the tribunal chairman for fear of what could be possibly the final judgement, by creating a fictitious story and quoting her out of context, amounted to disrespect for the judge and the judiciary in general.
A statement issued by the immediate past Commissioner for Information and Internal Affairs and Spokesperson for Gawuna/Gari Campaign Council, Mallam Muhammad Garba, stated that “when Hon. Justice Azinge made the revelation on the alleged attempt to bribe a member of the tribunal by a senior lawyer, she never named any particular party.”
“The action of the Kano State government is nothing but gimmickry and an attempt to also disparage the APC”, he said.
According to him, in order to denigrate the APC, the NNPP government referred to the APC as the bribe giver.
He said that the Kano State Government was “also preempting the possible unravelling of the actual bribe giver by the tribunal and therefore wanted to malign the judge.”
Garba also said that the allegation by the Kano State Commissioner for Information, Baba Halilu Dantiye, further indicated that the government was trying to vilify the tribunal before the judgement so that it draws sympathy from the unsuspecting public in the event it is defeated.
“To also further confirm how perplexed they are, they filed an appeal while the tribunal is still holding its proceedings, saying however that their action will not stop the election petition tribunal from going on with its sittings until it delivers final judgement.
“Even with an apparent sign of victory on its side, the APC has not and will never offer any bribe to anyone involved in the case considering that it has presented facts and figures to prosecute the matter before the tribunal”, Garba said.
Garba observed that while the APC had presented all its witnesses during the proceedings of the tribunal who have been successfully cross-examined, the NNPP government has failed to present any tangible witness to depend on its case.
While reaffirming its commitment to patiently continue seeking legal redress in the case, he said the APC is confident it would eventually reclaim its stolen mandate.