A pro-democracy coalition, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution (CDNDC), has said only the immediate prosecution of the petitioner, Biyi Poroye and his alleged sponsor, Jimoh Ibrahim, who “concocted some damning allegations” against a panel of the Court of Appeal could redeem the image of the battered justices.
According to the group in letters to the bar and the bench, “The petitioner and his sponsor deliberately embarked on an evil voyage into the forest of lies and concocted falsehoods in a most painful manner to smear these eminent justices.”
The coalition was responding to a “derogatory petition” written against a three-man panel of the Appeal Court by one Biyi Poroye, a self-acclaimed state Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State, belonging to the Ali Modu Sheriff group, and a political ally of Jimoh Ibrahim.
In the letters signed by it Co-Convener, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, the group expressed deep pains that the duo of Poroye and Ibrahim “crossed the red line in advancing a cause and barbarically went personal on the members of the panel.
“They subjected their reputations, health and judicial records to public ridicule and brought untold discomforts to the Justices by circulating the petition in the social media space.
“Poroye and his sponsor-Ibrahim did not stop at this unwarranted campaign of calumny against the justices; they further questioned the authorities of the court to constitute a special panel to urgently look into the state PDP governorship candidate tussle.
“Consequently, we urge the judiciary and the Nigerian bar Association (NBA) to thoroughly investigate this matter and ensure that all those involved are punished immediately to preserve the integrity of our judicial system.”
Specifically, CDNDC wants the NBA to invite Ibrahim, who is a lawyer for questioning over his role in sponsoring the “assault and blackmail of the justices,” warning that such “ignoble conducts,” would be repeated by many other desperate politicians.
While urging members of the judiciary to be strong at this trying period, the coalition however noted that “the onus is now on the judiciary to act on this matter with dispatch and ensure these men are made examples to serve as deterrents to others.
“Nigerians are eager to see the outcome of your investigation and the immediate prosecution of Poroye and Ibrahim to stop further unwarranted attacks against the bench,” CDNDC told the Presidents of the NBA and the Court of Appeal in a separate letters.
The pro-democracy group equally expressed its support for the judiciary, assuring the Justices that “we will never allow the axis of evil to prevail in our land; it is our collective responsibility as Nigerians will never to allow the judiciary to fall.”