The Court of Appeal has debunked the news that a member of the five-member panel, Justice Boloukuoromo Moses Ugo that is handling petitions seeking to nullify the election of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, resigned.
A report emanated on Wednesday, July 19, 2023, saying Justice resigned from the bench, citing demands from the executive branch that he believes would destroy the country’s democracy.
In the report, Justice Ugo said that siding with the government on this matter would be the ‘death of Nigeria’s democracy’, and that he could not in good conscience remain silent. His resignation has sent shockwaves through the country, and raised serious questions about the state of Nigeria’s democratic institutions.
It further said the judge was asked to ‘cripple the independence of the judiciary’ by ruling in favor of a certain political candidate, whom he did not name but is widely believed to be Bola Tinubu.
In addition to this, it was said that he was asked to suppress evidence and dismiss cases that could have an impact on the election.
However, debunking the report on Thursday, July 20, 2023, Chief Registrar of the Appeal Court, Malam Umar Mohammed Bangari, appealed to the general public to ignore the fake news in its entirety.
Bangari said that there was no iota of truth in the news.
He explained that Justice Ugo is still on the panel of Justices of the court handling the petitions by the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), Labour Party (LP) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PD.
Bangari, faulting the report, said neither his office nor the Information Department of the Court was contacted, before what he described as a false report was made public.
The Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Gregory Obi and the PDP’ alongside Atiku are challenging the declaration of Tinubu as the winner of the February 25 presidential election.