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Court of Appeal now cash and carry point – Ousted senator

February 2, 2024

Ex-senator accused judges of using their children to collect bribe.

Elisha Abo, a former senator who represented Adamawa North, has accused the President of the Court of Appeal, Monica Dongban-Mensen, of collecting bribes.

He said the Court of Appeal has become a “cash and carry point” while calling some judges “judicial bandits.”

Mr Abo, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was declared the winner of the February 2023 senatorial election for the zone but a Court of Appeal ruling declared his main opponent, Amos Yohanna, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the validly elected senator.

The court cited non-compliance with the Electoral Act in the election, deducted what it declared were invalid votes and found that Mr Yohanna had more valid votes.

Immediately after the ruling, Mr Abo accused the Senate President, Godswil Akpabio, of being behind his sack. Mr Abo had supported Abdulaziz Yari against Mr Akpabio for the Senate top seat.

He later withdrew the accusation and offered an apology to Mr Akpabio.

Cash and carry enterprise

Mr Abo was speaking on Wednesday at a press conference in Abuja.

He said the court cancelled the election in 253 polling units without ordering for a return election “because they know I won those places, just because they know if the election is conducted today, tomorrow or next tomorrow, I’ll still win.”

 

He said Ms Dongban-Mensen has turned the Court of Appeal into a business entity where the highest bidders get what they want.

Mr Abo said he was among those who screened Ms Dongaban – Mensen in the Senate without asking for a dime from her.

He wondered why she has now allowed her court to be a place where money is allegedly allowed to influence rulings.

“Let it be on record that it’s during your time that the Court of Appeal has descended into the abyss of caricature. There has never been a time in the history of the Court of Appeal that the court has become a cash and carry point, a POS point like now.

“I screened you as a senator in 2020. Your CV was forwarded to us. We screened you despite all the hullabaloo against your nomination, we looked at you based on the merits before us and we confirmed you. Did I take money from you, did I ask you for money before I screened you? I could have objected,” he said.

He accused children of judges of being part of the corruption circle where money is collected from those who have cases at the court.

“The moment a matter goes into the Court of Appeal today, it becomes something else. Children of judges flood either petitioners or respondents. Agents of judges flood politicians, asking you to go and settle the judges. This is not the renewed hope of Mr President. Mr President, you came under the renewed hope mantra…”

He asked President Bola Tinubu to “act” decisively as he did in the case of Betta Edu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.

Don’t elevate Chioma Nwosu-Iheme to Supreme Court

During the press conference, Mr Abo also called on the President and the National Judicial Commission not to elevate Chioma Nwosu-Iheme to the Supreme Court from the Court of Appeal.

He argued that the promotion would not be in the interest of the country.

Ms Nwosu – Iheme led two other judges of the Appeal Court to void Mr Abo’s election.

The judge and 11 other judges of the Court of Appeal have been screened for elevation to the Supreme Court.

“The kernel of my submission at this press conference is that the appointment of Justice Chioma Nwosu-Iheme to the Supreme Court is not good for our judicial system and dispensation of justice.

“For required punishment and deterrence, I have filed petitions against Justice Chioma Nwosu-Iheme, Justice Olabode Adegbehingbe and Justice Muhammad Ibrahim Sirajo to the National Judicial Council and Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) over their judgement in the electoral case between Reverend Amos Kumai of the PDP and me,” Mr Abo said.

 

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