Amosun’s APM rejects Lagos judge’s membership of Ogun election petition tribunal

Gov. Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State [Photo: The Guardian Nigeria]
Former Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun [Photo: The Guardian Nigeria]

The Allied People’s Movement (APM) has kicked against the appointment of a judge of the Lagos State judiciary, Josephine Coker, as the head of the newly constituted Ogun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.

Supporters of the state governor, Ibikunle Amosun, ran on the platform of the APM in this year’s elections after they failed to secure nominations in the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Mr Amosun successfully ran for the Senate on the platform of the APC but led APM campaign rallies in the state.

The National Chairman of the APM, Yusuf Dantalle, made the party’s position on Mrs Coker’s appointment known at a press conference on Monday held at the party’s state secretariat in Abeokuta.

He said the party had written a petition to this effect to the President of the Court of Appeal, Zainab Bulkachuwa.

The Court of Appeal had removed Justice Onyeabo as the chairman of the tribunal and replaced him with Mrs Coker.

The APM described the development as unfair and mischievous.

The APC had earlier filed a motion asking Mrs Bulkachuwa to disband the panel.

The secretary of the tribunal, Nyior Sekulla, later confirmed that the panel has been affected in a reshuffle of election petition tribunals across the country.

However, the APM National Chairman said the initial panel was disbanded to frustrate the petition of APM against the election of Dapo Abiodun of the APC as governor.

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He said Mrs Coker was appointed a judge in Lagos by both Bola Tinubu and Vice President Osinbajo who are stakeholders in the ongoing petition at the tribunal.

He added that APC in a motion dated April 15 prayed for the disbandment of the old panel.

Mr Dantalle said although the motion is slated for hearing on May 8, “a memo was believed to have been received by the Tribunal that the panel be disbanded and replaced with a new one.”

The APM said that the timing of the decision of the Court of Appeal and the choice of the new tribunal panel suggested the whole process was predetermined.

Part of the petition reads: “Obviously, their craftily contrived application not only envisaged Adekunle AbdulKabir Akinlade/APM’s petition no EPT/OG/GOV/01/19 but demanded a complete change of members of the panel, and in their place, “a new panel”. My Lord, to this end, the new panel is totally unacceptable to the Allied Peoples’ Movement (APM).

“I have, within the narrow paginations in this petition/complaint against the unfair, wrong, and mischievous dismissal of Omyeabo’s panel provided the basis/grounds/reasons why this newly contrived panel should be done away with’.

“Politicians of influence and particularly those in the exalted offices must not be allowed to interfere with the due administration of Justice. Their obvious design is to engender injustice against APM and her governorship candidate’.

“It is for the reason given above and many more that I, as National Chairman of Allied People’s Movement, APM, respectively urge your Lordship to disband the newly constituted panel led by Justice Adenike Coker and reconstitute a new one in the interest of Justice.”

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