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Mary-Odili, Ngwuta Must Be Appointed To Hear Atiku’s Appeal – PDP Reps

Posted by: On October 18, 2019 || Categories: News

A caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the house of
representatives says Mary Odili, Slyvester Ngwuta, Bode Rhodes-Vivour
and three other senior justices of the supreme court must be appointed
to hear the appeal of Atiku Abubakar.

Atiku, PDP presidential
candidate in the last election, had filed an appeal at the apex court to
challenge President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory at the election petition

It is a tradition at the supreme court for senior
justices, including the chief justice of Nigeria, to preside over
presidential election appeals.

Odili, a senior justice, is the wife of Peter Odili, former Rivers state governor and founding member of the PDP.

another senior justice, is the father of Gbadebo, who ran for Lagos
west senatorial seat on the platform of the PDP in the last election.

a senior justice, resumed duties at the supreme court in September
after being prosecuted for alleged corruption by the Buhari

In a statement signed by Kingsley Chinda, PDP
leader in the house, the caucus said Nigeria has set the precedent of
appointing the most senior justices to hear presidential election
appeals since 1979.

“The hearing of the appeal on the decision of
the Presidential Election Petition filed by Alhaji Abubakar Atiku and
our great party, the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP), begins a few
weeks at the Supreme Court,” it said.

“The practice of selecting
Justices to hear the appeal is expected to precede the hearing, going by
age-long convention. What isn’t conventional is the present attempt to
influence Chief Justice Ibrahim Tanko, going by reports in the media, to
subvert the age-long and time-tested practice, precedent and convention
of selecting the most senior Justices of the Supreme Court to hear the
presidential election appeal.

“Chief Justices of Nigeria through
time have never in the selection of the Supreme Court’s Election
Petition Appeal Panel surrendered to the phoney dictates of the ruling

“We are proud to state here that never in our great
party’s time in power, did it or its personages, dictate selection of
panel members to Chief Justices; NEVER.

“In 2008 when President
Buhari, defeated by late President Umaru Yar’Adua, appealed the decision
of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, the then Chief Justice,
Legbo Kutigi, empaneled Justices Katsina-Alu, Aloma Mukhtar, Dahiru
Musdapha, Walter Onnoghen, George Oguntade and Niki Tobi to hear the
appeal that year.

“He was never dictated to, nor was any attempt
made by our great party to influence CJN Justice Legbo Kutigi, who stuck
to a conventional practice that consistently secured the seal of
approval of past Chief Justices: CJN Fatai Williams, 1979; CJN George
Sowewimo, 1983; and CJN Muhammad Uwais, 2003.

“CJN Katsina-Alu
also followed CJN Kutigi’s steps in 2011 and kept to the age-long
conventional practice. If there is any arm of government that regards
precedents and practices as almost sacrosanct, it is the judiciary.
Nigerian Judiciary cannot reverse that internationally accepted practice
of stare decisis just to please A.P.C government and serve the interest
of a select individual or group.

“Selecting the Supreme Court
Panel isn’t about witch-pricking-pricking Justices who suck blood out of
justice isn’t about going outside the order of seniority to select
Justices, witch-prickers, without independent jurisprudential thoughts
and whose singular attribute for selection is that they demonstrate
permanent dislike for justice and passion for doing the bidding of

“Surely, selection, Shorn off pressure and influence of
the government and the present ruling party, is about demonstrating and
holding firm to the constitutional powers of the Supreme Court to
conduct its own affairs and not succumb to pervasive power and corrosive
external influences.

“To sidestep precedents and convention is
to provide legitimacy to the ruling party whose stock-in-trade is
ridiculing the judiciary. Chief Justice Ibrahim Tanko must Sticks to
precedents and conventions to preserve the integrity of the courts as
the last hope of the common man and of citizens of our great country.

are however, gladdened that on Monday 14th October, 2019 through its
Director, Press and Information, Dr. Festus Akande, the Supreme Court
refuted this intent and reassured the Nigerian public that it is out to
“Serve the interest of the generality of the Nigerian masses and not
select individuals or groups”. We therefore, pray and hope that the
Supreme Court does not allow itself to fall into this gobble trap.

wish to state that selection of Justices to hear the appeal of our
great party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, must be in
accordance with the conventional practice admitting only of the
selection of the first seven most senior Justices of the Supreme Court:
CJN Ibrahim Tanko, Justice Rhodes-Vivour, Justice Mary Odili, Justice
Sylvester Ngwuta, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, Justice Musa Muhammad and
Justice Kumai Akaahs. NO MORE.”

Source:- Thecable

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