Atiku’s Appeal: S’Court warns CUPP over peddling of false information

The Supreme Court on Monday warned a pressure group, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) over its claim that the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko had breached the tradition of the apex bench in constituting panel for the hearing of pending appeal by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar against Buhari’s election.

The apex bench which advised CUPP to desist from peddling wrong information said it was yet to constitute any panel for the appeal and that anytime such is done, the public would be notified when the panel was constituted.

The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) had alleged in the media that the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, had constituted a panel that would hear the appeal in breach of the tradition of the apex court.

Specifically, the spokesperson for the Coalition of United Political Parties, Imo Ugochinyere had alleged that the CJN handpicked justices of the apex court for the panel in violation of the “tradition” of selecting the most senior Justices of the court.

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In reaction, the Supreme Court, through its Director, Press and Information, Dr. Festus Akande, issued a statement to the effect that the CJN was yet to set up panel for the matter let alone hand-pick justices in breach of the court’s tradition.

The statement dismissed the CUPP’s allegation as “blatant falsehood, misinformation and malicious rumour”

It said CUPP “is not and can never constitute itself into an agency of the Nigerian Judiciary or assume the role of an alternate Supreme Court of Nigeria”.

The statement said, “The constitution of any panel to sit on a matter in the court is the sole prerogative of the Supreme Court and it is never an issue for the court to debate on the television or pages of newspapers.

“We are not a political party or social club and should never be dragged into any form of baseless pedestrian discussions that will drive valid reasoning aground.

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“Enough of this orchestrated falsehood and campaign of calumny.

“We are here to serve the interest of the generality of the Nigerian masses and not select individuals or groups with inordinate ambition.

“As soon as the Presidential Appeal Panel is constituted, the public will be duly informed as the Supreme Court is not a secret society. Let us always observe caution when disseminating information to the public.”

The Justice Mohammed Garba-led Presidential Election Petition Tribunal had on September 11, 2019, dismissed the petition by the PDP and Atiku challenging the outcome of the February 23, 2019 poll.

The petitioners on September 23, 2019, filed 66 grounds of appeal before the apex court to challenge the judgment of the tribunal.

The Supreme Court said on Monday that the appellants had yet to file their appeal before CUPP came up with an imaginary apex court’s panel that would hear it.