Phrank Shaibu, the Special Assistant on Public Communication to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has made serious allegations against former Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State. Shaibu accused them of closely monitoring judges as the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal nears its conclusion.
According to Shaibu, it is suspicious that both Wike and Makinde traveled to Plateau State to attend a memorial service hosted by the President of the Appeal Court, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, despite not being officially invited. The memorial service was meant to be a solemn event, but their presence reportedly disrupted the sanctity of the occasion.
In his statement, Atiku’s aide claimed that Wike has been using questionable means to establish relationships with judges and has been offering them gifts under the pretext of welfare. He suggested that Wike’s recent appearance at an event hosted by the Appeal Court President might be another attempt to influence the appellate court where the current tribunal judges are from.
Shaibu further pointed out a previous incident involving the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola, who made a statement a few months ago expressing his satisfaction with Governor Makinde being a member of the “G5,” a group of renegade governors.
These allegations raise concerns about potential interference with the judiciary and the impartiality of the judicial process in matters related to the presidential election. However, it’s important to note that these are accusations made by an individual and should be subject to proper investigation and due process to determine their validity.
He said: “Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State as the host governor, was invited for the programme, but Wike and Makinde were gatecrashers at that event. The reason is not far-fetched. They have continued to cosy up to judges just to impress their paymaster.
“Unfortunately, the CJN, Justice Ariwoola, has also failed to live above suspicion. He was in Rivers State ahead of the election, where he said he was happy that Governor Makinde was a member of G5. Then, at the commissioning of the Oyo Governor’s lodge in Abuja on May 25, the CJN once again was the special guest of Governor Makinde.
“Today, there are rumours that the next attorney-general will be a kinsman of the CJN as part of efforts to manipulate the outcome of the election petition tribunal. While this has not been proven, the fact remains that the CJN has put himself in a position where his integrity is constantly questioned.”