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NNPP berates Kano gov tribunal justice over banditry comments

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The National Auditor of the New Nigeria People’s Party, Mr. Ladipo Johnson, has berated the Kano State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal over media comments credited to the panel that supporters of Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf and leadership of the party in Kano State were violent and engaged in acts of banditry and terrorism.

In a statement issued in Lagos state, Johnson raised serious objections to what he described as “indecorous and libelous language” used by the panel to tarnish the image of leaders and members of the party.

He reiterated that the NNPP will consider all options including petitioning the National Judicial Council over the utterances of the Judge, and appeal the tribunal’s verdict which removed Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf as Kano governor.

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Johnson expressed worry over the portions of the publication where a member of the panel, Justice Benson Anya, condemned NNPP members, who he referred to as “the gang of Red Cap wearers who, like a violent and terrorist cult, chased us out of Kano and put us in the fear of our lives”.

Justice Benson Anya had alleged that “instead of some Kano politicians to be allowed to use banditry and violence to abort democracy in Kano State, justice will be used to stop them from destroying democracy in Kano and upward.”

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But Johnson said: “Of course, the indecorous, libelous and outright condemnable comments credited to the panel and especially those portions where Justice Benson Anya went beyond his judicial bounds of immunity and acted as if he is an interested party in the matter by casting aspersions on the leadership and members of NNPP, are spurious, regrettable, uncouth and based on sentiments.

“To any rational observer, it should be glaringly obvious that Justice Anya’s lengthy rebuke, insult and insensitive remarks against NNPP individually and collectively were rather unprecedented, and not based on the facts, evidence and law before the Tribunal. One would think that he has taken sides as an interested party and as such has prejudiced the judgement of the court.”

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Johnson also questioned the decision of the panel to deliver its judgment via Zoom from an obscure place, instead of Kano where the tribunal sat throughout its proceedings.

It now seems apparently clear that justice was not served by the Election Petition Panel which had all its sittings in Kano without any report of violence or disruptions, and then all of a sudden, decided to give their judgement via Zoom from some obscure place that remains a mystery to us,” he said.

 

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