Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria, MMWG has condemned the call in some political quarters that the President of Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa should step-down from the Presidential Election Tribunal because her spouse is now a senator-elect, saying “this call is highly irrational, unlawful and unimaginable”.
The group explained in a statement issued at the weekend the “the provision regarding constitution of Presidential Election Tribunal is clear in the nation’s statutes”, adding that “nothing in these laws disqualifies any judicial officer on the basis of family relationship”.
The statement, signed by the group’s National Coordinator, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, recalled a case in which Mary Odili, a Justice of the Supreme Court and wife of Dr. Peter Odili, former Governor of Rivers State, who is also a leader of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, adjudicated without opposition from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
“Does any law forbid her from adjudicating on any matter concerning the ruling party because her husband is in the opposing political party?
“It is therefore unpatriotic for anybody or group whether political or not to overheat the polity by raising inconsequential matter to divert the cause of justice for personal or political gains.
“It is also criminal to accuse a judicial officer of corruption when no record whatsoever proves this infraction by any court of law”, Abdullahi stressed.
He went further: “The clearance of Justice Bulkachuwa of any economic crime by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Department of State Services, DSS and the Police is enough testimony of political recklessness and blackmail of some defeated politicians in Nigeria to gain undeserved favour through blackmailing of innocent persons including our highly respected judicial and public officers.
“Perhaps, this is part of what patriotic Nigerians knew about them which made them to reject fraudulent and corrupt politicians and went for people of integrity”.
Abdullahi therefore called on politicians all over the country to be patriotic, responsible and honest as they go about pursuing their political goals and refrain from cheap blackmail and publicity of falsehood for the achievement of their political desire.
He reminded them that they were given opportunity to campaign in various lawful ways before elections, saying that “once election is over, attempt to reverse the decisions of the masses through court processes would always fail, no matter the unorthodox methods used”.
“As a non-governmental organisation, NGO and a religious body watching-over happenings in Nigeria, we are duty bound to promote peace and stability and as well call to order those breaching the laws of the land with impunity under the guise of political activities.
“In fact, politics is over now, and as elected politicians warms-up to take their seats to pursue their laudable programmes in fulfillment of their electoral promises, irrelevant and obnoxious issues should be thrown-away for serious business to begin”, he stated.
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