The Eye on the Judiciary Coalition (EJC), comprising 26 civil society groups, convened in Lafia, Nassarawa state, to express dismay over the recent appeal court ruling on the Kano state gubernatorial elections.
The coalition condemned the judgement, labelling it a distressing confirmation that justice in Nigeria is now subject to influences.
The coalition, led by Coordinator Comrade Salisu Musa Yahaya, articulated grave concerns over what they perceived as glaring inconsistencies and contradictions within the ruling.
The comparison drawn to previous presidential election litigations was of significant concern to the coalition, particularly the supreme court’s validation of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s victory amid allegations of forgery.
This precedent, the group highlighted, had sown doubt among Nigerians regarding the judiciary’s independence.
The recent Kano election verdict, echoing the earlier tribunal ruling, was described as draconian by the EJC, asserting that it usurped the Kano people’s right to choose their leader.
They highlighted a perplexing contradiction within the judiciary, citing the Tinubu v. Obi case, where the issue of party membership was deemed non-justiciable, contrasting starkly with the current situation in Kano.
The EJC underscored the crucial role of transparency in the judicial process, emphasizing that the recent political landscape and perceived compromises have eroded public confidence.
Expressing scepticism about approaching the supreme court, they cautioned against raising false hopes, citing a pervasive lack of trust in the higher judiciary.
Their plea was directed at Abba K. Yusuf, the people’s choice for Kano governor, advising against pursuing the case further due to suspicions of collusion between the ruling class in Abuja and the judiciary.
Amid their critique, the coalition highlighted a critical oversight: the absence of judicial officials from Kano, adding weight to their concerns about representation and fairness in the decision-making process.