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KOGI GUBER: GROUP PETITIONS JONATHAN OVER SAMBO'S INTERFERENCE !

Says Wada is Mobilising For Sambo 2015
By Yahaya Etila
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A socio political group,Kogi Freedom and Justice Forum had petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan alleging that Vice President Namadi Sambo had been contributing in no small way to the unstable political atmosphere in the state.
The group however pleaded with Jonathan to call Sambo to order.
This was contained in a letter dated February 25 and addressed personally to the President, a copy of which was obtained by African Nigerianvoice.com.
The letter was jointly signed by the 12 members of the group.
The letter reads,"We, the under-signed, would like to bring to your attention for necessary action and relevant sanction the serial perversion of justice and meddlesomeness in the affairs of Kogi State by your Vice President, Mohammed Namadi Sambo. We wish to also draw your esteemed attention to the previous open letter written to you by some elders of the PDP in Kogi State in respect of the misuse of state resources, lack of governance and the dwindling fortunes of the PDP because of the under-performing current government in the state.

See full text:

KOGI JUSTICE & FREEDOM FORUM
No. 10 Mount Patte Road, Lokoja, Kogi State
---------------------------------------------------------

​​​​​25th February, 2013.
Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan
President
Federal Republic of Nigeria
State House, Abuja

Your Excellency,

CORRUPTION AND PERVERSION OF JUSTICE IN KOGI STATE: CALL NAMADI SAMBO TO ORDER!

We, the under-signed, would like to bring to your attention for necessary action and relevant sanction the serial perversion of justice and meddlesomeness in the affairs of Kogi State by your Vice President, Mohammed Namadi Sambo. We wish to also draw your esteemed attention to the previous open letter written to you by some elders of the PDP in Kogi State in respect of the misuse of state resources, lack of governance and the dwindling fortunes of the PDP because of the under-performing current government in the state.

Following the Supreme Court judgment of January 27, 2012 which terminated the
tenure of the former governor of the state, Ibrahim Idris, the purported winner of the December 3, 2011 governorship election in the state, Idris Wada, was hastily sworn into office on the orders of the Vice President by the President of the Customary Court of Appeal in the state. The Supreme Court judgment of January 27, 2012 had been clear and explicit that the sacked Governors of Kogi and four other states should hand over to the Speakers of the State Houses of Assembly pending the conduct of fresh elections into the vacant offices.

Both Jibrin Isah Echocho and Oyebode Makinde had separately approached the Federal High Court in Abuja to void Wada's election on December 3, 2012 and subsequent swearing-in especially as the Supreme Court had declared that it was not aware that a governorship election had been held in Kogi State prior to the January 27, 2012 judgment. Our party's (PDP) later appeal to the Supreme Court to exempt Kogi State from the implementation of its judgment was dismissed by the apex court on February 16, 2012. As far as the law is concerned, the judgment of the Supreme Court has not been obeyed in Kogi State.

The two suits challenging Wada's continued stay in office have, in the past one year, suffered needless delays, Pilateist pleas of lack of jurisdiction, leaked judgments, multiplicity of proceedings, political interference by the Vice President and a general lack of seriousness in their handling.

In fact, both the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal have refused to assume jurisdiction, to exercise the powers of the trial Court, to settle completely and finally the matters in controversy between the parties and to give judgment.

The Court of Appeal judgment of January 31, 2013 in the case instituted by Jibrin Isah Echocho had suffered four adjournments before it was finally delivered by Justice Tinuade Akomolafe-Wilson following the personal intervention of the Vice President hours before the court convened. The judgment was first fixed for 20th December 2012 before it was shifted to 16th January 2013 and then moved again to 28th January 2013 and finally to 31st January 2013. Even on the day that it was finally delivered, it was shifted from 9AM to 1PM and then to 3PM. Justice Hussein Mukhtar who wrote the judgment dated January 16, 2013, curiously passed it on to Justice Akomolafe-Wilson to deliver on behalf of the three-judge panel. The judgment had been in circulation for than two weeks before it was eventually delivered and the Wada camp was openly celebrating its “victory” weeks before the judgment. Right now, the Wada camp is confident that the current appeal at the Supreme Court will end with the apex court sending the case back to Justice Kafarati of the Federal High Court in Abuja to begin afresh while the illegality in Kogi State continues.

The generally untidy and dodgy circumstances (delays, postponements and leakage) surrounding the January 31, 2013 judgment have justifiably led to suspicion about under-hand dealings to pervert the cause of justice in Kogi State. It was therefore not surprising that the Court of Appeal declined jurisdiction in the case, refusing to go into the substantive matter - just as Justice Abdul Kafarati of the Federal High Court had done earlier. In another bizarre twist to the two cases, both Jibrin Isah Echocho, a former governorship candidate, and Oyebode Makinde, a governorship aspirant and former vice chairman of a local government council in the state, were said not to have locus standi by the courts.

By deliberately refusing to consider any of the fundamental, constitutional and jurisprudential issues submitted to them for adjudication, both the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal have denied the appellants the right to fair hearing. The long suffering people of the state are worried that the judiciary, a sacred institution long regarded as the last hope of the common man, has thus far denied them justice.

We, therefore, implore you, Mr. President, to look into the handling of the two cases and to warn your Vice President to hands-off the internal affairs of Kogi State. Right now the Makinde case has not been assigned to a panel of Court of Appeal Justices since it was filed nearly four months ago. Some people in the judiciary as well as the Vice President are hell-bent on frustrating our quest for justice in Kogi State because we are ordinary citizens without access to state funds with which to procure court judgments and to hire godfathers in the corridors of power.

We are aware that Governor Wada has started mobilizing northern state governors for the Vice President's presidential ambition in 2015. This is why the Vice President has been doing everything possible to prevent the courts from sacking Wada. We plead with you to prevail on your Vice President to steer clear of the judicial process in respect of Kogi State. It is our firm belief that he is corrupting the entire judicial process as it concerns our state. He should let the judges do their jobs without fear or favour.

The people of Kogi State will continue to explore all legal means to ensure that fresh gubernatorial primary and election are held in the state devoid of the fraud and the undemocratic imposition of candidates that characterized the previous exercise. As a democratic, Mr. President, we want you to identify with our aspirations and to support the call for fresh elections and a new beginning in Kogi State. The present paralysis and lack of governance in the state are deeply rooted in the undemocratic governorship primary of September 2011 which produced a man who is absolutely ill-prepared to govern.

Mr. President, Kogi State under Governors Ibrahim Idris and Idris Wada is synonymous with gross under-development, endemic poverty, lack of vision, treasury looting and plain incompetence. As the leader of our great party, we will like you to know that the PDP stands losing the state to the emerging All Progressive Congress if Wada remains the best we can offer the people of the state in the next election.

We hope and pray that you will give this petition all the seriousness it deserves.

Thank you.

Signed


1. Sadiq Ozi Sanda
2. Bamidele M. Zaccheus
3. Arome R. Sampson
4. Elizabeth E. Umar
5. Mohammed O. Shuaib
6. Aisha F. Ogala
7. Niyi K. Joshua
8. Omuya A. Sani
9. Ocholi C. Yusuf
10. Hamza Idu Yakubu
11. Adaji S. Peters
12. Folasade D. Babalola