Atiku’s appeal: Don’t harass Supreme Court justices, BMO warns PDP, CUPP

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has warned the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Conference of United Political Parties (CUPP) against mischief making or harassment of the Supreme Court, so that the highest court could fulfil its constitutional obligations.

The group gave the warning ahead of the hearing of the appeal filed by the Presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar against the decision of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT), which upheld the election of President Muhammadu Buhari.

BMO said in a statement signed by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke, said it was shameful that political allies of the former Vice President were in the forefront of efforts to harass the Court.

“Nigerians have for several weeks witnessed how a self-styled coalition of political parties which, in actual fact, is a gathering of Atiku Abubakars’ supporters, has been taking potshots at the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Mohammed and the Supreme Court.

“These individuals even had the temerity to lie to the media that the CJN had hand-picked Justices of the apex court for the panel on the directives of President Buhari.

“This forced the usually reserved Supreme Court to speak out against what it described as a blackmail attempt by the group, while maintaining that no panel had been constituted.

“Inspite of the Supreme Court explanation delivered by its spokesman Festus Akande, the group made good its threat to step up attacks on the apex court and even as recent as last weekend, it again accused the Court of plotting to set up a panel that does not include those it suggested.

“We had suggested that the Court and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) should consider sanctions against the leader of the group who incidentally is a lawyer Ikenga Ugochinyere, but nothing happened so it was not a surprise that he didn’t stop his campaign of calumny against the CJN.

BMO said there is nowhere in the world where supporters of a party in a case before the Supreme Court would determine the panel to hear their appeal.

“We are still shocked at the rate PDP elements, including the fake coalition led by a political jobber, has been sharing a list of seven Justices of the Supreme Court which they insist have to be on the panel to hear Atiku’s appeal.

“Nigerians were also stunned to see some federal lawmakers elected on PDP’s platform act as the repeater station of the so-called opposition coalition to the extent of naming those they considered as the most qualified.

“If this is not an act of mischief we at BMO wonder how best it could be described, especially as those lawmakers are expected to know that the Supreme Court and, to a great extent, the Judiciary, can not be dictated to.

“We believe and have absolute faith that the Supreme Court will keep to its time-tested value and would neither be intimidated nor blackmailed to do anyone’s bidding,” the statement added.

BMO said it expects the CJN to ensure that the Supreme Court panel is made up of Justices that are not only apolitical but are also believed not to have any political baggage that could affect the outcome of the appeal.