Open Justice Alliance, a non-profit/non-governmental organization committed to enhancing justice delivery in Nigeria, has submitted a petition to the National Judicial Council (NJC), expressing grave concerns over the gross violation of the Revised Judicial Code of Conduct Federal Republic of Nigeria 2016, by Judicial Officers.
The petition specifically addresses the judgment in Appeal Number: CA/KN/EP/GOV/KAN/34/2023 delivered on the 17th day of November 2023 by Honorable Moore Aseimo Abraham Adumein, Bitrus Gyarazama Sanga, and Lateef Adebayo Ganiyu JJCA.
The judgment in question, involving the case of YUSUF ABBA KABIR v. ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS & ORS, has raised significant concerns among the Nigerian populace due to its inconsistencies, particularly in Kano State, as it could potentially lead to a state of anarchy.
The lead judgment, authored by Honourable Moore Aseimo Abraham Adumein, has been described by Citizens’ Gavel as a “judicial somersault,” as it appears to contradict itself on critical issues within the same paragraph.
Open Justice Alliance highlights the inconsistency in the judgment, where the learned Justices appear to have both resolved the issues in favour of the 1st Respondent and against the Appellant while simultaneously declaring the opposite in the same paragraph.
Furthermore, the organization questions the setting aside of the judgment of the Election Petition Tribunal and the awarding of costs in favour of the Appellant despite ostensibly finding no merit in the appeal.
In the petition, Open Justice Alliance emphasizes that the actions of the learned Justices have not only eroded public confidence in the judiciary but have also brought disrepute to the Nigerian Judiciary, amounting to a gross violation of the Revised Judicial Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2016.
In light of these concerns, Open Justice Alliance respectfully urges the Nigerian Judiciary to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the judgment in question.
The organization insists that if the learned Justices are found culpable, disciplinary action should be taken in accordance with the law.
“This season affords the judiciary an opportunity to build people’s confidence in the justice space and its systems and as such must purge itself from any seeming appearance of corruption, especially during this critical juncture of election tribunal outcomes,” it stated.
Nelson Olanipekun, Esq., Team Lead for Citizens’ Gavel and a member of the Open Justice Alliance states: “We humbly urge the Judiciary to investigate the circumstances surrounding the judgment and to discipline the justices if found culpable. We believe in upholding the high standards of conduct outlined in the Revised Judicial Code of Conduct to preserve the integrity and independence of the judiciary.”
Open Justice Alliance expresses gratitude for the judiciary’s attention to this matter and looks forward to a swift resolution that upholds justice and maintains the trust of the Nigerian people.
“In accordance with the spirit of the law, Open Justice Alliance is open to receiving whistle-blower information that can help get rid of corruption in the judiciary to ensure that the judiciary restores and attains its rightful place as the last hope to the common man while protecting the rights of every citizen and residents in the country,” it added.
The Open Justice Alliance is a collaborative and strategic effort aimed at fostering a justice system that is open, fair, and accountable to Nigerians through driving transparency and accountability in the justice sector. Also, the
Citizens’ Gavel is a civic tech NGO that aims to create a world where justice delivery is fast and efficient regardless of economic or political demographics.