A pro-democracy coalition, Coalition in Defense of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution (CDNDC), has stated that only the immediate prosecution of Biyi Poroye, the man that wrote a petition which it described as a “concoction of some damning allegations” against a panel of the Court of Appeal and his sponsor, Jimoh Ibrahim, could redeem the image of the battered justices.
The coalition was responding to a “derogatory petition” written against a three-man panel of the Appeal Court by one Biyi Poroye, a self-acclaimed state chairman of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State, belonging to the Ali Modu Sheriff group, and a political ally of businessman Jimoh Ibrahim.
“The petitioner and his sponsor deliberately embarked on an evil voyage into the forest of lies and concocted falsehoods in a most painful manner to smear these eminent Justices,” CDNDC said in it letters to the bar and the bench.
According to the letters, signed by its Co-Convener, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, the group expressed deep pains that the duo of Poroye and Ibrahim “crossed the red line in advancing a cause and barbarically went personal on the members of the panel.
“They subjected their reputations, health and judicial records to public ridicule and brought untold discomforts to the Justices by circulating the petition in the social media space.
“Biyi Poroye and his sponsor, Jimoh Ibrahim, did not stop at this unwarranted campaign of calumny against the justices; they further questioned the authorities of the Court to constitute a special panel to urgently look into the Ondo State PDP governorship candidate tussle.
“Consequently, we urge the judiciary and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to thoroughly investigate this matter and ensure that all those involved are punished immediately to preserve the integrity of our judicial system,” the coalition insisted.
Specifically, CDNDC wants the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to invite Jimoh Ibrahim, who is a lawyer, for questioning over his role in sponsoring the “assault and blackmail of the justices,” warning that such “ignoble conducts,” would be repeated by many other desperate politicians.
While urging members of the judiciary to be strong at this period, the coalition however noted that “the onus is now on the judiciary to act on this matter with dispatch and ensure these men are made examples to serve as deterrents to others.
“Nigerians are eager to see the outcome of your investigation and the immediate prosecution of Biyi Poroye and Jimoh Ibrahim to stop further unwarranted attacks against the bench,” CDNDC told the presidents of the NBA and the Court of Appeal in a separate letter.
The pro-democracy group equally expressed its support to the judiciary, assuring the justices that, “we will never allow the axis of evil to prevail in our land; it is our collective responsibility as Nigerians never to allow the judiciary to fall.
“We are not unmindful of the fact that the judiciary has its own challenges; however, we will continue to insist that everything must be done within the framework of rule of law and our constitution.
“We urge the judiciary to be strong in the face of intimidation and conspiracy to undermine the independence of the judiciary. You must continue to dispense justice without fear or favour,” the statement added.