Choose Either Court or Media for Your Petition, Buhari Group Tells Atiku

Atiku Abubakar

Urges Christian leaders to stop embarrassing Christianity

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has accused the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar of showing disrespect for the judiciary by prosecuting his election petition in the media, rather than at the Presidential Election Petition tribunal.

BMO has also dismissed comments attributed to the National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) on the conviction of Justice Walter Onnoghen by the Code of Conduct Tribunal as an embarrassment to Christendom.

According to the group, Atiku’s action is targeted at whipping up unnecessary sentiment against the courts.

In a statement signed by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju, and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke, BMO alleged that what the former vice president has been doing is prejudicial

“We have observed this pattern of disrespect for the judiciary by one of the losers of the 2019 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, who has embarked on a media hearing of his petition even after his lawyers went to court.

“Nigerians have regularly been fed with snippets from the 139-page document on the pages of traditional media and their online counterparts, to the extent that it seems like the tribunal is about to take a decision.

“We consider it as a deliberate act of contempt for the panel and a disregard for the judiciary that should not be encouraged or tolerated.

“It shows that he is more interested in whipping up public sentiments through the media than prosecuting the case”.

“The alternative is for him to face his case squarely in court, except he does not trust the members of the panel,” it said.

In another development, BMO has also dismissed comments attributed to the National Christian Elders Forum on the conviction of Justice Walter Onnoghen by the Code of Conduct Tribunal as an embarrassment to Christendom. The group said the infractions the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria was found guilty of were not done on behalf of Nigerian Christians.

In a separate statement issued yesterday, BMO said that Solomon Asemota’s claim that it was a jihad against Christianity amounts to an insult to all Christians.

“We are shocked to read a statement issued on behalf of the National Christian Elders Forum by a senior lawyer of Chief Asemota’s calibre, who was bent on whipping up religious sentiment against Justice Onnoghen’s conviction.

“It is a reprehensible attempt by a senior citizen, ostensibly on behalf of other elder statesmen of his ilk, to make it look like Christianity was the target of the conviction when it was clear that the law was followed to the letter.”

“Where were the members of this amorphous group when the outgoing CJN put up all sorts of obstacles to frustrate the system, including suspending the statutory meeting of the National Judicial Council (NJC) before his suspension from office by President Muhammadu Buhari on the basis of a valid CCT order paved way for the NJC to take up the matter?

“We know that Chief Asemota has enough clout to have an insight into the NJC’s recommendation on Justice Onnoghen, even though it has not been formally published, but the unchristian-like bitterness for the President would not allow him and his group to accept the truth.

“It is therefore an insult to the intelligence of all Christians in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country like Nigeria for an individual or group to seek to paint their skewed position as that of millions of people of the same faith,” it said.

BMO urged Nigerian Christians not to be conned by a group of political elites who have never seen anything good in the Buhari administration and are always looking at playing divisive politics.

The group said: “Playing up our faultlines as a nation is a wicked and regular past time of a group of elite that benefitted from the misdemeanours of the past. They did it in the run-up to the election but failed to get Nigerians to toe their line as President Buhari received a second term mandate with an overwhelming majority.

“Now they are bent on using the CCT ruling as a ploy to advance their private war against a President who had in several ways denied them the abuse of state privileges that they had taken for granted.

“When a group of elders insist we look at things that serve equity from a religious point of view, they are merely inciting the common Nigerians to rise and serve their own primordial selfish interests.

“We dare say that what the tribunal found Justice Onnoghen guilty of are what Christianity abhors – desecration of the temple of justice, dishonesty, lies, and above all, abuse of office.

“People who claim to be elders of the Christian faith in Nigeria should be condemning such acts and praying for the former CJN rather than making comments that are embarrassing to the Church.”

BMO also urged Nigerians to be wary of more attempts by similar groups to play up divisive sentiments over the fate of the convicted former Chief Justice of Nigeria.