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KANO: Govt threatens to file petition against tribunal judge over ‘insulting’ comments

THE Kano State government has threatened to sue one of the Kano Governorship Election Petition Tribunal’s judges, Justice Benson Anya, for comments he made against the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and the Kwankwasiyya political organization.

The tribunal dismissed Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of the NNPP as state governor last week in a unanimous decision read aloud by the panel’s head, Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay.

In his consenting opinion, Justice Anya stated that Governor Yusuf ruled over a state where chaos was encouraged and government officials were permitted to slander the judiciary.

He also referred to NNPP members as “red cap wearers,” “violent and terrorist cults,” “bandits,” and “bitter losers” in response to a threat to the lives of the tribunal judges’.

In response to the comments, the state Commissioner for Information, Baba Halilu Dantiye, told reporters yesterday that Justice Anya did not only insult those wearing the red cap but that he also “insulted late Malam Aminu Kano, who was the champion of wearing a red cap in Kano, and patriotic citizens of Kano State.”

Dantiye, speaking on behalf of the state administration, stated that the judge could not simply come to Kano and “abuse Malam Aminu Kano.” We will make sure that he pays for what he has done. We will explore all options for the unnecessary abuse.

“While we know the judgement is dead on arrival, we will not slow down in promoting the dividends of democracy to the good people of Kano State. Nothing will scare or slow us down. We are determined to make up all the promises made to the good people of Kano.

“As you are all aware, our legal representatives are on course to go for appeal as instructed by the Governor which we are confident of reclaiming our mandate,” he said.

Dantiye added that the state government was interested in knowing whether the judge was “right to use personal sentiments and quash our victory and also seek justice on this. The Nigeria Judicial Council (NJC) and other appropriate channels are there. We will file a petition against him”.

“A judge cannot just sit down because of unfounded death threats to be impartial in our judgement. This clearly showed to us that you are not being fair and just in this election verdict,” he said.

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