Benue Appeal: NJC alerted over plan to bribe Belgore….Presidency invites Panel members to Villa
Nigerian Concord Newspaper
The National Judicial Council, NJC, has been alerted over plans by the APC under its embattled national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshimole, to bribe Justice A.O. Belgore, chairman of the five man Appeal Panel that is currently hearing an appeal filed by the APC governorship candidate in Benue state, Emmanuel Jime, against Governor Samuel Ortom.
This is coming just as a Nigerian Concord’s reliable source at the Presidency hinted that some powerful men at the corridor of powers in Abuja have invited Justice Belgore and remaining four members of the Appeal Panel to a secret meeting which is to be held tomorrow, Sunday, at the Akinola Aguda residence of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Urging the NJC to stop further pressure on Justice Belgore by the national leadership of the APC, the Human Rights Crusaders, a prominent pressure group in Abuja which issued a statement through Dr. Chuks Ohuegbe (National Convener), warned that any plot to subvert the will of the good people of Benue state through a prepared verdict will ridicule the Nigerian Judiciary.
In its alert, the group said that it had received several security reports which revealed that bringing the Appeal Panel to Abuja from Makurdi was to enhance the APC to mount serious pressure on the Panel’s chairman, Justice Belgore.
The statement reads in parts: “We have received several information about plans by the APC in Abuja to force members of the Appeal Panel to deliver a judgement in favour of Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Jime who contested against Mr. Samuel Ortom in the last governorship poll in Benue state.
” We raised this same alarm when the APC wanted to use the Appeal Panel to nullify the victory of Governors Darius Ishaku and Emeka Ihedioha of Taraba and Imo states respectively,and we did this because we believed that the plans, if allowed to scale through, would spell doom and as well throw both states into wars.
“Judiciary is the last succour for a common man so the NJC should check Tribunal and Appeal Panel judges so that they will not give verdicts that will jeopardize the integrity of the Judiciary.
” How can a common man rely on the Judiciary as his last hope when the same Judiciary is being used by the cabals within the Presidency to subvert the wishes of the people.
“The NJC should take note of the fact that the Presidency is mounting serious pressures on Justice Belgore to prevail upon his colleagues in the Appeal Panel to deliver their judgements against Governor Samuel Ortom.
” And taking away someone’s victory from him and give it to the wrong person through the help of the Judiciary is nothing strange in Nigeria but that must stop now.
“Oshiomole who is at the center of the conspiracy is a product of wrong judgement such as the one he is forcing Belgore to deliver in the case between Jime and Ortom.
“Oshiomole never won his election in Edo state in the first place but he got his victory through the financial help of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who bribed the judges handling his case against Former Governor Osunbor.
” Because he won through a false court verdict, Oshiomole now believes that he has the liberty and all it takes to force any judge into giving victory to wrong people just like he is trying to do in the case of Benue state.
” We implore the NJC to stop Justice Belgore and his men from delivering a fake judgement which may likely put the good will which is being enjoyed by the Judiciary to test”
According to Human Rights Crusaders, the NJC must rise to defend the Judiciary which Oshiomole, Bola Tinubu,APC and the Presidency are trying to put into disrepute with their latest move to secure a kangaroo ruling for Emmanuel Jime at the Appeal Court.
Meanwhile, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has invited Justice Belgore and his men at the Appeal Panel to a secret meeting slated for tomorrow, Sunday, at his Akinola Aguda official residence in Abuja.
The meeting according to reports is unconnected to the ongoing pressures that are being mounted on the five members of the Appeal Panel.
Nigerian Concord gathered that a deal to declare Jime as the winner of the last Benue governorship poll is to be struck at the secret meeting which will also be attended by Tinubu’s representative, some APC leaders both from Abuja and Benue, Oshiomole, Abba Kyari and others.