The All Progressives Congress (APC) has warned the Kano State Government to desist from embarrassing Justice Flora Azinge, the Chairman of the National/State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal, in the wake of an alleged N10m bribery offered to a member of her legal team.
Spokesman for Gawuna-Gari Campaign Council and ex-Governor Abdullahi Ganduje’s Commissioner for Information, Muhammad Garba in a Thursday statement, particularly frowned at the deliberate attempt by the Governor Abba Yusuf led administration to interfere in the decision of the Kano State election petition tribunal.
Justice Azinge had raised the alarm that some senior lawyers were attempting to bribe judges in her team.
According to her, it was the second time a judge was complaining about how some lawyers prosecuting election matters before her, tried to corrupt the system by offering bribes to her colleagues.
In the open court on Tuesday, she said that, “money is flying”, adding that “it’s being rumoured that a staff collected N10 million.”
However, the Kano State Government called on security agencies to dig deep into the allegation and bring the ‘‘strong forces who are well-known for their corrupt attitude’’ to book.
A statement signed by the State’s Commissioner of Information, Baba Halilu Dantiye, late Wednesday night, said the government viewed the allegation with a great concern as there was a strong rumour going round that some strong forces within the APC whose eyes are on Kano Election Petition Tribunals were bent on repeating what they allegedly did in 2019.
“They are all out to use whatever means to sway justice as was done previously.
“It is an open secret that these strong forces who are well-known for their corrupt attitude are working tirelessly to scuttle the hard earned mandate of the people of Kano state,” Dantiye stated.
The Commissioner added that the influential APC member “certainly feels emboldened by what is generally perceived as his unfortunate and undemocratic selection as APC chairman who is rumoured to be all out to influence the outcome of various Election Petition Tribunals in Kano in particular and other states in general.”
“The anti-corruption agencies are equally expected to swing into action, especially when this type of allegation was made in open court by a respected Judge,” he said.
In reaction to the development, Garba, who is the Chief of Staff to Ganduje, APC’s National Chairman, stated that the comment was a subtle attempt to denigrate the APC and the court.
According to him, the deliberate attempt to malign the tribunal chairman could have been spurred out of fear that the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP)-led government may not secure a favourable judgment.
“Kano State Government is pre-empting the possible unrevealing of the actual bribe giver by the tribunal and therefore wanted to malign the judge. The made-up story, which is contained in a statement issued by the state commissioner for Information, Baba Halilu Dantiye, further indicated that the government is trying to vilify the tribunal before the judgment so that it draws sympathy from unsuspecting public in the event it is defeated.
“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.
He further observed that while the APC had presented all its witnesses during the proceedings of the tribunal, the NNPP government has failed to present any to defend its case.
The action of the State Government, he said, is nothing but gimmick and an attempt to disparage the APC.
He added that the ruling party will confidently keep working to seek legal redress to reclaim its ‘stolen’ mandate in Kano.
via: Information Nigeria