BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
The Osun State chapter of the All Progressives Congress has cautioned the former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Timi Frank, to desist from taking an undue advantage of the judiciary by blackmailing it on the pending state election petition between a former governor of the state, Gboyega Oyetola and the incumbent Governor, Ademola Adeleke.
Frank had disparaged and alleged some desperate politicians of planning to make use of ‘monetary inducement, coercion and intimidation using state security agencies to influence the judgement of the Supreme Court’ in a publication that went viral on Thursday.
The ally of the People’s Democratic Party’s Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, further alleged that ‘monetary inducement of $2million per JSC is the offer inherent as well as coercion and intimidation using state security agencies to greatly influence the judgement of the Supreme Court is in top gear and underway’.
But, Osun APC through its Acting Chairman, Tajudeen Lawal, in a statement issued by the party’s Director of Media and Information, Kola Olabisi, in Osogbo on Thursday, denied the allegations, describing them as frivolous, false and spurious and borne out of desperation on the part of Frank and his sponsors.
Lawal disclosed that, “The monetary inducement allegation against the Justices was only designed by Frank and his sponsors to blackmail the judiciary after Frank’s sponsors failed in their bid to blackmail Oyetola from going to the Supreme Court.”
He further said that Frank and his sponsors are deliberately blackmailing the revered highest judicial officers of the Supreme Court “since the rules of their practice outlaws them from joining any issue with any rabble-rouser who might have woken up from the wrong side of his bed to be spewing mere conjectures.”
The state acting chairman of the APC further noted that it was wrong for Frank to have deliberately opted for the dragging of the judiciary in the mud because of his own political interest, saying that Frank should stop judging the Osun APC leaders by the standard of his sponsors.
While describing Frank as a meddlesome interloper, Lawal opined that in a saner clime, he should be the guest of the security agencies by now so that he could tell the world what he knows about his “reckless, cooked-up and fabricated allegation of monetary inducement against the Justices of the Supreme Court in order to create avoidable tension in the society.”
“Why does Frank derive pleasure in the propagation of falsehood, gossip and speculations which are best consigned to the beer parlour? Frank should be in the know of the fact that the invention of any cock-and-bull story in the corner of his room with the intention to rubbishing the hard-earned reputation of the judicial officers on the altar of politics would not attract to him any positive estimation of his person.
“But Frank is knowledgeable and experienced enough in the field of partisan and theoretical politics for him to know that litigation is a veritable aspect of the governorship election process in Nigeria. The earlier you, Frank, stop bullying the judiciary because of your selfish interest in all endeavours, the better you will be adding value to the genuine democratic process in Nigeria,” Lawal stated.
Frank, a former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC had on Thursday raised the alarm that some desperate politicians have embarked on clandestine moves to upturn the victory of Adeleke at the Court of Appeal with monetary inducement of $2 million for each of the five Supreme Court justices.
He therefore challenged the Supreme Court Judges to maintain their integrity and resist any attempt of subversiveness through inducement as regards the Osun governorship matter.
According to him, “recent intelligence reports available have suggested that the enemies of democracy and fascist elements operating in the APC were bent on truncating democracy by using every state apparatus available in perpetuating mischief and subversion of legitimacy, as evident in the just concluded governorship rerun election in Adamawa State.”
The political activist in a statement said that with an overwhelming Court of Appeal judgement, affirming the victory of Governor Adeleke and a previous Supreme Court judgment clearing all issues as regards his eligibility and certificates, “it is clear that any further judicial exercise is akin to witch hunt.”
Frank, in the statement alleged that some desperate politicians in the APC were bent on compromising the integrity of the judiciary by upturning the decision of the Court of Appeal by any means necessary in relation to the Osun state Supreme Court decision.
He alleged that monetary inducement, coercion and intimidation using state security agencies to influence the judgment of the Supreme Court were rife and underway.
Frank alleged thus, “Howbeit, these same elements who have been operating without fear for consequences have once again arisen to compromise the integrity of the judiciary by vowing to overturn the decision of the Court of Appeal, by any means necessary in relation to the Osun State Supreme Court decision.
“Monetary inducement of $2 million per JSC on this matter is the offer inherent as well as coercion and intimidation using state security agencies to greatly influence the judgment of the SC is in top gear and underway.
“The Supreme Court must be put on notice that Nigerians are very interested in the outcomes of judgement decisions from the SC and will continue to beam its searchlights on the discreet activities of the Judges especially after the ridiculous decisions as regards Senator Ahmad Lawan and Senator Godswill Akpabio. We are constrained to believe that indeed, recent decisions from the SC suggest that certain compromise may have been plausible by the outcomes of judicial matters.
“The hopes of many Nigerians is fast fading away as most Nigerians doubt the independence of the judiciary in the dispense of justice. The SC must not be seen going the way of the INEC chairman, who blatantly voided its own rules to subvert the will of the people save for personal aggrandizement.
“The JSC must put the country first in the discharge of their constitutional duties. The 2023 Presidential Elections results are still rife in the minds of many and thus any attempt to deliver any controversial judgement may end up in anarchy.
“The SC must be reminded that the Osun State matter will be the first litmus test for the JSC. The facts of the matter are very clear, with the CA putting to rest the issues of over voting and any other discrepancies. Therefore the minimum expectations for the SC are to stand by the truth and avoid any semblance of intimidation and coercion. The right thing must be done, as it is clear that the Osun people are extremely pleased with the choice of their governor and are elated with his performance since his inception into office.
“In order to demonstrate independence and integrity the SC should as a matter of public opinion approve for the use of live telecast in broadcasting its proceedings for the Presidential Elections matter. The Supreme Court must stand on what is right and just and endeavour to reclaim its already battered image.”