Ekiti Tribunal: Don’t Blackmail Judiciary- Group warns Oni

A group political pressure group tagged  Movement for Integrity and Political Emancipation (MIPE) has  warned the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the June 18 Governorship poll in Ekiti against embarking unsubtle black of the nation’s judiciary.
Responding to the vitriolic attack on the governor, the MIPE’s Convener, Dr. Omolayo Adefare, in a statement in Ado Ekiti, on Saturday, regarded every statement chronicled in the petition by Oni’s allies, as overt lies and highly confrontational blackmail intended to ridicule the CJN and judiciary at large.
The group also  condemned  Oni for allegedly sponsoring attacks against Governor Kayode Fayemi over his recent misinterpreted comment on the ongoing Election Petition Tribunal in Ekiti State.
It alleged that Oni was  spewing of fictitious lies and desperate contrivances to pit  Fayemi against the judiciary won’t avail Oni of victory, in the petition filed against Hon Biodun Oyebanji’s election.
Some notable Oni’s cronies like; former Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon. Kola Oluwawole and an ex-member of the House, Hon. Femi Fakorede under the auspices of Ekiti State Concerned Stakeholders, had in a petition dated October 4, 2022, accused Fayemi of claiming that he had the judiciary in his pocket, which fueled suspicion that he was out to compromise the tribunal members.
The petition addressed to the Chief Justice of Nigeria(CJN) and Chairman, National Judicial Council(NJC), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, contended that such demeaning and contemptuous comment could erode the indepedence of judiciary, compromise its integrity and trigger political unrest in Ekiti.
Adefare said Dr Kayode Fayemi remains one of the most refined leaders ever produced in history in Nigeria, and that at no time did he make such inciting statement against the judiciary, regarded as the sentinel, bulwark and bastion of democracy.
He urged the CJN to regard the petition as a ranting of desperate politicians, who were expressing spleen and applying open blackmail to coopt the judiciary to do their criminal and undeserved biddings.
Adefare opined that if not for desperation to return to goverment by Oni at all costs, the current tribunal’s panelists, chaired by Justice Wilfred Kpochi, had not exhibited any biased tendency, or behaved in any suspicious manner, to warrant writing petition and crying hoax over phantom accusation against the governor.
He described the petition as a joke taken too far, and underhand efforts to goad the judiciary into becoming feeble and trepidated to perform their duty zealously and without bias.
“It is high time we told Nigerians that Governor Kayode Fayemi never made any caustic comment or posed in any manner suggesting that he truly has judiciary in his pocket. Such act was alien to All Progressives Congress-led government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“President Buhari stands as  the most influential Nigerian today being a sitting President, and the federal government and APC by extension had lost so many cases of interest, and judiciary was neither bullied nor browbeaten over this.
“If the President could lose myriad of cases in courts of different hierarchies despite the seemingly imposing and overriding influence, how could a Governor, outgoing governor for that matter, now boasted of having  the entire gamut of judiciary in his pocket? This was a mischief taken too far and only gullible Nigerians would believe this fable and feeble alibi coming from Oni and his ilk”, he said.
Speaking further , Adefare added that; “Fayemi in 2008 lost at the Tribunal in his case against Oni and  never betrayed emotions or hurled insults at the court. He took the whole thing with equanimity and proceeded on appeal being a human right activist and defender of democracy.
“After the rerun of April 26 and May 5, 2009 in Ekiti State, Fayemi, rather than casting aspersions on the judiciary after the first appeal, decided to return to the judiciary and pressed for the reclamation of his stolen mandate until judgement came on October 15, 2010.
“If Fayemi could lose all these cases, at what time did he now become so influential to claim that he had judiciary in his pocket? Nigerians shouldn’t listen or get swayed by this brazen lie and outright mischief being churned out to seek public sympathies by SDP wailers”, Adefare said.
Lampooning the ex-governor over the claim, Adefare posited; “Let us check the records, Oni had always exhibited hatred against the judiciary. On February 17, 2009, when he lost a case at the appeal through a verdict delivered by Justice Mohammed Dattijo, he betrayed emotions and ventilate all manners of caustic languages against the panelists. The same person can’t turn around and claim to be defender of the judiciary.
“Also in 2010, when he lost his seat through a judgement well delivered by the then President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami, Oni wrote similar petition to the then CJN, Justice Katsina Alu, claiming compromise in a fashion that put the judiciary into disrepute and public opprobrium.
“With what Oni and his cronies are currently doing, history is only repeating itself and Nigerians shouldn’t fall for this antics targeted at amassing  public sympathies and attempt to forcefully conscript the judiciary to do their shady biddings, despite having a bad case on their hands to prosecute”, he stated.

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