Kogi Gov’ship Tribunal: Civil Societies Protest Alleged Bias in Kogi Tribunal

by Ohepo Ohepo

A coalition of civil society organizations (CSOs) has issued a strong call to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, urging him to maintain a hands-off approach regarding the proceedings of the Kogi State Tribunal and uphold the tenets of democracy.

During a press conference held in Abuja on Monday, the coalition emphasized the importance of allowing justice to prevail to address the electoral malpractices that have marred the democratic process in Kogi State.

Comrade Shuaibu Abdulkadir, speaking as the National President of the Nigeria Youth Advocacy for Good Governance Initiative on behalf of the coalition, appealed to the judiciary to protect the nation’s democracy resolutely, without yielding to intimidation or bias.

He highlighted that the overwhelming evidence of electoral fraud, including voting manipulation, excessive voting, and voter bribery throughout various regions of Kogi State, necessitates corrective action.

“We convene today to address a deeply troubling revelation: the clandestine communication unearthed from the WhatsApp exchanges among Kogi State Commissioners. These exchanges lay bare sinister plots to compromise judicial rulings in favor of the APC candidate, Alhaji Usman Ododo. The involvement of the immediate past Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, casts a dark shadow over the integrity of our judicial apparatus.

“While some may be inclined to dismiss these revelations, given the dubious characters involved, we cannot afford such complacency. Bello’s fugitive status and his brazen belief in the corruptibility of all underscore the gravity of the situation. It is imperative that the judiciary rise to the occasion, unwavering in its commitment to dispense justice free from external influence.

“We unequivocally demand that the judiciary uphold the pillars of our democracy, resolute in their defense against fear and favoritism. Furthermore, we implore Alhaji Yahaya Bello to present himself before the EFCC rather than attempting to subvert the sanctity of our judicial system. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as a stalwart of democratic principles, must resist any temptation to interfere with the judgment of the Kogi State Tribunal.

“Despite the potential tumult that may ensue, we steadfastly affirm that justice must prevail. The irrefutable evidence of electoral malpractice, including manipulation, over-voting, and voter inducement across Kogi State’s regions, demands redress. The charade of democracy masquerading as an election warrants scrutiny, for it undermines the very essence of our democratic ethos,” Abdulkadir stated.

The coalition remains hopeful that justice will ultimately triumph, leading to a more promising future for Kogi State and the nation as a whole.

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