A travel ban is now precariously dangling over seven Supreme Court justices, who delivered the controversial Imo governorship election verdict that sacked governor Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as the Diaspora Group For Better Nigeria (DGBN) has asked the European Union Parliament to bar the justices and members of their immediate families from entering European Union countries.
The group made the request in a mail on Tuesday to the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, a copy of which was sent to CHECKPOINTCHARLEY.
The Supreme Court had on January 14 in a judgement that sparked nationwide protests removed Mr. Ihedioha as governor and replaced him with Mr. Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who came fourth in the Imo governorship election of March 9, 2019.
According to the group, the “judgment, which was neither grounded in law nor commonsense, has been dubbed the most fraudulent since the establishment of the Nigerian Supreme Court in 1963.”
The sole aim was to serve the goal of the ruling APC and scuttle the will of Imo State people, it added.
DGBN reminded the Parliament President that one of the aims of the European Union is to promote and advance democracy globally.
“By banning these anti-democratic Supreme Court Justices from entering Europe, the EU would have legitimately pursued that goal for a better world.”
The European Union Parliament had yet to respond to our inquiry over its next line of action as at the time of filing this report.
Recall that a coalition of Imo indigenes in diaspora, under the auspice of IMO DIASPORA COALITION FOR JUSTICE AND DEMOCRACY, had also asked the government of the United States to hang travel ban on justices of “Nigeria’s Disgraceful Partisan Supreme Court” and members of their families over the same judgment.
Last Sunday, civil society groups asked the Supreme Court “to take courage and recall the Imo state governorship matter and recall the error and restore Justice, peace, hope and faith in our democracy and regain the confidence of the Nigerian people.”
Meanwhile see below the DGBN’s request sent to the Parliament’s President:
The President of the European Parliament
David Sassoli (PD)
B-1047 – Brussels
Dear President David Sassoli,
RE: SUPREME COURT DECISION IN SENATOR HOPE UZODINMA VS RT. HON. EMEKA IHEDIOHA
VISA BAN For Seven Justices Of Supreme Court Who Scuttled The Will Of The People
We seek your intervention in the above-named matter.
Nigeria, under former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari, is dangerously sliding into full-blown dictatorship.
In pursuit of his plan to stay in power against the will of the people, President Buhari destroyed the Judiciary by unlawfully harassing judges with the anti-corruption agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC).
Cowing of members of the bench by using anti-corruption agency to intimidate them, tampered with the independence of thejudiciary.
Mr. Buhari then went a step higher in his plot to annex an important organ of Democracy by sacking the Chief Justice of the Federation, Walter Onnoghen and replacing him with a Sharia Judge, Mohammed Tanko.
Like a man possessed, Mr Tanko did and continues to do the bidding of the president.
The new CJN, in the build-up to the 2019 general election went ahead to constitute election petition tribunals and appeal panels that were favourable to the ruling, All Progessives Congress (APC).
With this, Buhari retained power when the Supreme Court struck out the appeal of Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, who was widely acclaimed to have actually won the 2019 Presidential Election.
And on Januray 14, 2020, the Tanko-led Supreme Court handed down an absurd judgment in Hope Uzodinma Vs. Ihedioha, which has been aptly described a “judicial coup” unleashed on the Nigerian democracy.
That decision upturned the Imo State Governorship electoral mandate given to Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), handing it over to the APC candidate, Hope Uzodinma, who came a distant fourth position in the election.
The justices, who participated in that judicial coup are:
Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad (CJN) Head of Panel,
Justice Kudrat Kekere–Ekun,
Justice Sylvester Ngwuta,
Justice Olukayode Ariwoola,
Justice Aminu Sanusi, Amina Augie, and
Justice Uwani Abba-Aji.
That judgment, which was neither grounded in law nor commonsense, has been dubbed the most fraudulent since the establishment of the Nigerian Supreme Court in 1963.
The sole aim was to serve the goal of the ruling APC and scuttle the will of Imo State voters.
Hope Uzodinma was imposed on Imo people as governor. A judiciary should have no business in deciding for a people who governs them.
This is why we urge the European Union to place these Justices of Shame and members of their immediate families on visa ban.
That absurd judgment sparked nationwide protests with angry Nigerians calling on the apex court to review the decision that denied Imo People their choice of governor. There was also protest in London against the decision during the UK/Africa summit.
Legal Scholars and civil societies have also called on the Supreme Court to restore public confidence in the Judiciary by revisiting that decision which had outraged every right-thinking Nigerian
On Sunday, 26th January, 2020 a coalition of civil society organizations held a press conference in Abuja, demanding the reversal of the decision.
Attached to this mail is the full text of that conference.
Sir, It will give you more insight into the grave injustice that was done to the people of Imo State by imposing on them someone they never voted for; never wanted to govern them.
Your Excellency, one of the aims of the European Union is to promote and advance democracy globally. By banning these anti-democratic Supreme Court Justices from entering Europe, the EU would have legitimately pursued that goal for a better world.
Thank you as we look forward to your necessary action.
President, DIASPORANS FOR A BETTER NIGERIA
TEXT OF A PRESS CONFERENCE BY A COALITION CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS ON 26TH JANUARY