A civil rights group, Democratic Watch, has described as unacceptable the decision of Kogi State government to host this year’s edition of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Sports Competition in the state at a time when an appeal against the state governor is pending before the Supreme Court.
In a statement signed by its Executive Director, Mohammed Hussein, the group said it noted with concern the publicity currently given the sports competition by the Yahaya Bello administration at a time when all hands were on deck for the outcome of decision of the Supreme Court on the vexed Kogi State governorship debacle.
“We note with concern the decision of Kogi State government to host this year’s Chief Justice of Nigeria Sports Competition in Lokoja from August 29 to September 11, 2016. Given the prevailing situation in the state right now especially with several litigants challenging the election of Alhaji Yahaya Bello as governor, we feel it would be morally indefensible for the state government to lobby to host the competition even when reports say Delta State had already secured the hosting rights.”
“We hereby call on the National Sports Association for Judiciary (NASAJ) to as a matter of urgency shelve the idea of hosting the games in Kogi as the timing is morally very inauspicious for such an important event.”
Hussein described the Chief Justice of Nigeria as a” rare jurist of impeccable integrity who would not even approve such a gamut at a critical time like this in Kogi State.”
The group emphasised that it initially dismissed the issue as a mere rumour “until we started seeing billboards and banners all over the state promoting the games billed to start August 28, 2016. We emphatically say No to such a development and would go to any length to defend our position.”
Some political parties in the state are challenging the election of the governor at the tribunals and the case is presently before the Supreme Court.