A judge in the Kano Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, Benson Anya has reacted to the death threat issued to members of the tribunal by a former Kano State Commissioner of Lands and Physical Planning, Adamu Aliyu.
According to Anya, the threat against the judges in the tribunal must not be allowed to go unpunished.
Naija News recall how Aliyu promised to unleash mayhem that is worse than what residents of neighbouring Kaduna and Zamfara are going through if the ruling of the tribunal does not favour the New Nigeria People Party (NNPP).
He warned the judges against taking bribes to rule against the governor, Abba Yusuf.
Aliyu said, “I am sending this message to the tribunal judges, any judge that allows himself to be used and collect bribes and pass judgment that is not right, we want to tell him he must choose between his life and the bribe money he collected.
“We are promising you (our supporters), we are receiving your complaints, the votes you cast on his excellency (Governor Yusuf) will not go in vain unless we lose our lives or the Kano State will fall.
“Another message for the leaders. You have seen the conflict (banditry) in Zamfara, Kaduna, and Katsina, I swear because of this governorship seat, everyone will die.
‘The conflict that will start in Kano will be more deadly than the ones in those states and Borno.”
The state governor, Yusuf in reaction to the threat distanced himself and his government from Aliyu’s comment and immediately sacked him from office.
The three-member panel of judges led by Oluyemi Asadebay on Wednesday delivered its judgement sacking the state governor, Yusuf.
The tribunal also declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Nasiru Gawuna, winner of the election.
Naija News had earlier reported that the judges were not physically present in court as they delivered their judgement virtually following the threat against them.
Anya in the certified true copy of the judgement released on Friday, said the death threat by the former commissioner was a plan to take power by force and discourage them from delivering justice on the election petition.
He said, “They took the position as was widely reported in the media both print and social that if they lose the case, they will kill the judges and put the residents of Kano State on fire. They threatened to bring unrest and banditry to Kano State. We are also citizens of this country in Kano to discharge our lawful duties.
“We have not committed any offence by performing our duty of adjudication. My message to the bandits in politics who want to take power by force is that the judiciary cannot be intimidated.
“The judiciary will never shy away from justice. Every judge is a soldier of justice, we are blessed with the courage to call a spade a spade and to do justice according to the law without fear or favour.
“Where a party purports to have his eyes on the judiciary and remove same from his case, the judiciary will still do its work. You remove your eyes from your case, you abandon your case and concentrate on distracting yourself by having your jaundiced eye on the judiciary.
“The judiciary as represented by the honourable judges will concentrate on their duty of adjudication and put their own eyes on the law and justice. All judicial activities must necessarily end with the final decision of the court.
“This is called a judgment. Upon the judgment of the court, parties can only acknowledge the decision of the court, accord it respect and if not satisfied, go on appeal.”
The judge further noted that a party who lost or anticipated a loss in a case “can only prepare to appeal against the decision of the lower court or prepare to appeal.
“This is what is obtainable in a civilised society.
“Kano State as we all know is a cradle of civilisation. No party on the account of losing a case or based on speculation of the possible loss of a case threatens to go on a rampage against the court and honourable judges.”
The judge added, “It is wrong to threaten the entire polity of Kano State with violence. A party must not threaten terrorism and mayhem on the people. The decision of the court must not be taken personally as to warrant an attack and violence against the judiciary functionaries as threatened by the agents of the 2nd and 3rd Respondents.
“I use this opportunity to condemn the gang of Red Cap wearers who like a violent and terrorist cult chased us out of Kano and put us in the fear of our lives. We believe that only Allah is the giver of power. Those who believe in Allah must bow to his will and submit to the authority of governmental power.
“Resort to anarchy, violence and killing can never be a source of lawful power. Threatening to put Honourable Judges in danger of their life as done in Kano by some disgruntled bandits parading as politicians is hereby condemned.
“Every judge worth his salt will always abandon and ignore any form of threat to stand by justice and pronounce justice. The tribunal in the lead judgment has pronounced justice and we stand by justice.
“I concur with the lead judgement and commend my lord the Chairman for delivering this judgment under the threatened fire and brimstone by bitter losers.
“There is always another day for politics. I am in no doubt that the security agencies know and are aware of those who removed their eyes from their case and put it on the judiciary. They are also aware of those who extended the threat further by declaring that they would kill the judges.
“This threat must not be swept under the carpet. Instead of some Kano politicians being allowed to use banditry and violence to abort democracy in Kano State, justice will be used to stop them from destroying democracy in Kano and upward, we do not want anarchy and terrorism to be promoted in Kano State and as threatened by them.
“As human beings and citizens of this country, we love our lives. Nobody must be allowed to threaten to put our lives in jeopardy because we are judges charged by law to do justice. We are under the protection of Allah first and of the law. I commend my colleagues for their sense of justice and well-crafted judgment.”
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