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Kano Govt Threatens Tribunal Judge With Petition Over ‘Insulting’ Comments

Kano State government has vowed to file a petition against one of the judges of the Kano Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, Justice Benson Anya, for his comments about the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and the Kwankwasiyya political movement.

The tribunal last week sacked Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of the NNPP as the state governor in a unanimous judgment read by the chairman of the three-member panel, Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay.

In his consenting judgment, Justice Anya had said that Governor Yusuf presided over a state where anarchy was being supported and agents of the government were allowed to malign the judiciary.

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

Reacting to the comments, the state Commissioner for Information, Baba Halilu Dantiye, while briefing newsmen on Tuesday said Justice Anya did not only insult people wearing red caps but “insulted late Malam Aminu Kano who was the champion of wearing a red cap in Kano, and patriotic citizens of Kano State.”

Dantiye, who said he was speaking on behalf of the state government, said the judge could not just 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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