As Nigeria marked its 63rd Independence Day celebration, citizens in the diaspora stormed the High Commission in London, United Kingdom, to demand a fair Kano governorship election trial.
The protesters, on Sunday, waved placards to drive home their insistence for an impartial and apolitical justice system that will be fair to the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) government in Kano.
The messages on the placards include: “The Independence of a country depends on the Independence of its judiciary”; “Kano must not be robbed, Tinubu should allow justice to prevail in Kano”; “Kano people’s mandate must be allowed, no more unjust rulings”; “Abba’s mandate must not be stolen”.
“Tribunals must be just, Kano case must not be an exception”; “Keep politics out of our courts”; “Tribunal neutrality is non-negotiable. Kano people deserve justice, not politics”; “Defend democracy, demand fair tribunals. Kano people deserve justice.”
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The convener, Dr. Aminu Bello, told journalists that they were at the Nigerian high commission to protest the judgment delivered by the tribunal.
Bello said the 2023 general polls were a pivotal moment in the country’s history, but that the recent verdict left many Nigerians disheartened and concerned about the integrity of the electoral process.
“We want to emphasize a crucial point: it is only the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that has the legal authority to cancel votes, not tribunal judges. The judiciary’s role is to interpret the law and ensure justice is served, not to alter the will of the people expressed at the ballot box.”
“We believe justice must be blind and that the rule of law must prevail in all circumstances. The recent judgment has raised questions about whether justice has truly been served in this instance. We call on all Nigerians, regardless of their political affiliation, to rise and fight for justice,” he charged.
The convener said democracy thrives on the diversity of political voices and the competition of ideas, saying Nigeria should never be reduced to a one-party system.
“The strength of democracy lies in a vibrant multi-party system where all citizens have a chance to express their choices. The mandate given to Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf must be upheld and respected; stakeholders must ensure justice is served.
“We urge Nigerians to engage in peaceful, lawful, and constructive ways to demand transparency and accountability. Civil society organizations, political parties, and the international community should monitor the situation. The votes must not be stolen.
“We also ask relevant authorities to conduct a thorough and impartial review of the Kano election tribunal judgment to ascertain its fairness and punish any judge who is found to have compromised,” Bello urged.