A political activist and former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has called on the international community to place visa restrictions on the five justices of the Appeal Court that presided over the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) over gross miscarriage of justice and flagrant breach of the Constitution.
Frank also called on the National Judicial Council (NJC) and the Supreme to review the tribunal’s ruling and sanction the Justices for deliberate perversion of justice.
Reacting to the recent judgement of the PEPT in favour of the presidential candidate of the APC, Frank in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday, said it was obvious that the judgement was written by elements in the presidency.
He said that he is convinced that the PEPT’s ruling that it is not necessary to present certificates to contest for political offices in the country has created problem for the nation’s education sector as it would now be difficult to convince children to go to school or tell those in school to study hard to attain excellence in their educational pursuit.
He however, called on the United States of America (USA), United Kingdom, United Nations and other critical democratic stakeholders to take a punitive step against the five justices led by Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba, by placing them and their families on visa ban.
According to Frank, both local and international election observers had raised questions about the conduct of the election, particularly unjustified interventions by security forces in favuor of Buhari and the APC, “they said the voting process wasn’t transparent and the Nigerian civil society group, a coalition made up of over 70 civic groups that monitored the balloting also said the outcome wasn’t credible.
“Yet the presiding justices of the PEPT in giving their judgment said the election was credible and dismissed the petition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and their Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
“This outcome was only possible because the judgement was written by the presidency.
“I therefore call on the international community such as the US, UK, EU and others to place a visa ban on the five justices of the PEPT and members of their immediate family.
“The onus is on the Supreme Court to show Nigerians and the world that the judiciary is indeed the hope of the common man; it is incumbent on them to show that they are indeed independent and have not been colonized and made a rubber stamp of the executive in view of the unthinkable verdict
of the five justices of the PEPT.
“They simply turned the judiciary into a black market where justice was measured and sold to the highest bidder. The executive has always accused the judiciary of corruption and the five justices have just confirmed it by this judgment.
“They have brought shame on the Nigerian judiciary and must be sanctioned appropriately by the NJC to serve as a deterrent to others and restore sanity to the judiciary,” he said.
Frank called on the international community to help Nigeria, saying the country “is at a point where it may have civil unrest or a break up as many regions have resumed agitation following the hope-dashing verdict.
“The international community should place visa restrictions on these five Justices like they have done to some corrupt politicians that participated in rigging the last general elections.
“Since these five Justices have traded away the opportunity to redeem the country’s democracy by ridding it of electoral fraud, the Supreme Court must now be courageous enough to rectify this judicial fraud in order to save Nigeria from collapse. Show Nigerians that the judiciary is still the last hope of the common man,” Frank said.
He called on the apex court to save the the Judiciary from the onslaught against it by the executive, and failure to reverse PEPT’s ridiculous verdict would inevitably render the judiciary toothless.