1.01 At the 5th Emergency Meeting of the National Judicial Council held on 9th March, 2011, a Five-Man Fact Finding Panel was set up to look into the petitions against the Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria, and Chairman, National Judicial Council, Hon. Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, GCON, the Hon. President of the Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice I. A. Salami, OFR and some Justices of the Court of Appeal in respect of the Sokoto, Ekiti and Osun States Governorship Appeals, respectively.
1.02 The Panel was initially given two months to complete its assignment, but because of the numerous witnesses that appeared before it and requests by Parties for adjournments, the period was extended by another month.
1.03 The Panel consists of:
i.) Hon. Justice Umaru Abdullahi, CON Chairman
ii.) Hon. Justice E. O. Ayoola, CON Member
iii.) Hon. Justice D. O. Edozie, CON Member
iv.) Hon. Justice M. E. Akpiroroh, JCA (Rtd) Member
v.) Mrs. Rakiya Sarki Ibrahim, MON Member
1.04 Mr. Eugene I. Odukwu, Director Administration and Alhaji Muhtari A. Tambawel, Director, Planning, Research and Statistics were assigned as Secretaries of the Panel.
1.05 Subsequently, the Panel sat on 23rd March, 11th and 12th April, 18th, 19th and May and further sat on the 8th, 9th and 21st June, 2011.
2.01 The Panel at its inaugural Meeting agreed on the modalities to be adopted. Having regard to the sensitivity and the importance of the assignment, the member decided to consider arid focus on the essential issues that are germaine to the assignment. In the circumstance, the Panel decided to approach the work with all sense of fairness. It therefore becomes necessary that members have to study all the relevant documents- available to them and assess each one of them to determine its relevance to the Panel’s mandate.
2.02 Having studied all the complaints and petitions concerning the Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and the Hon. President, Court of Appeal, (PCA), it became clear that the central issues concerned petitions and complaints in respect of Sokoto State governorship matter and Ekiti State and Osun State governorship matters.
2.03 All the Petitions were looked into and only those considered relevant to the Panel’s assignment were selected for further-consideration. Some were left out because they were merely lifted from the Petitions of others and had nothing original to proffer. Other attempted to involve the Panel in a futile exercise of review of the judgment of the Court of Appeal.
2.04 In order to simplify the work, the Panel decided to sub-divide it into three sections, viz:-
1) The Sokoto State Governorship issue as Section I;
2) The Ekiti and Osun States Governorship issues as Section II; and
3) Other issues that do not strictly come within the mandate of the Panel as
2.05 Invitation letters were sent to the Parties concerned to come along with their Witnesses and Counsel if any with a view to giving each of them fair hearing in keeping with the Council’s policy.
2.06 The parties invited were:-
i) Dr. Abubakar Mohammadu Sokoto;
ii) Lt. Gen. J. T. Useni (Rtd);
iii) Comrade Prince Collins Eselemo;
iv) Yahaya Mahmood, Esq.;
v) Senator Umaru Dahiru;
vi) The Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria , Hon. Justice A. I. Katsina-Alu, GCON;
vii): The Hon. President, Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice L A. Salami, OFR•
viii) Hon. Justice Dahiru Musdapher, CFR;
ix) Chief Segun Oni; and
x) Otunba Sunday Ojo-Williams.
2.07 On the request of the Parties, the following were also invited to appear before the Panel, viz:-
i) Hon. Justice B. O. Babalakin, CON;
ii) Hon. Justice A. L Iguh, CON;
iii) Hon. Justice M. M. A. Akanbi, CFR;
iv) Hon. Justice M. Dattijo Mohammed;
v) Hon. Justice Paul A. Galinje;
vi) Hon. Justice John Inyang Okoro;
vii) Senator Lawali Shuaibu; and
viii) The Chief Executive Officer, MTN .
2.08 Although, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former Governor of Osun State was not invited, he nevertheless appeared before the Panel and his evidence was also taken.
2.09 The following persons also gave evidence before the Panel:-
i) General Bashir Magashi;
ii) Alh. Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi;
iii) Theophilus Ndubuisi Onyia (NSA Representative);
iv) Mr. Rotimi Odusola;
v) Mr. Adeolu Oyinlola;
vi) Mr. Sherif Usman; and
vii) Mr. Tanimu Aminu Turaki, SAN.
2.10 The Panel informed the parties from the on set that its assignment was fact finding and Parties were free to call witnesses and to produce both oral and documentary evidence. The Panel left it open for Parties to decide what witness or witnesses they may wish to call and it facilitated sending out invitations to witnesses through the Secretariat.
2.11 Parties were allowed access to all documents filed and exchanged by either side. Needless to mention that all the Parties came with retinue of Legal Practitioners to present their side of the story, that in fact almost turned- the proceedings into something akin to a full blown trial with occasional objections to admission of documents which resulted into inviting of rulings as well as rigorous cross-examinations. The Panel in consultation with Parties, fixed dates for hearing and taking of evidence from witnesses who could either affirm before giving evidence or simply go ahead- and narrate their evidence.
2.12 The Panel would like to mention that in some incidences, it was put to a great test of its patience. Having appreciated their responsibility, members however were able to contain most of the provocations and moved on to the conclusion of the assignment.
3.0 BACKGROUND FACTS TO THE ALLEGATIONS
3.01 The allegations we treated as mentioned earlier are primarily concerned with Sokoto State governorship issue and the Ekiti and Osun States governorship issues.
4.0 SECTION I – THE SOKOTO STATE GOVERNORSHIP ISSUE
The Sokoto State issue has three parts. PART A relates to complaints against the Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) by the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP). PART B relates to allegations against the Chief Justice of Nigeria by Hon. Justice LA. Salami the President of the-Court of Appeal (PCA). PART C relates to complaints by Mr. Yahaya Mahmood, Esq, Solicitor to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Mr. Alfred N. Agu, Esq, Solicitor to -the Governor of Sokoto State-against the President, Court of Appeal.
4.01 PART A: COMPLAINT AGAINST THE HON. CJN BY THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLES PARTY (PDP)
4.01.1 Arising from a complaint received by the Chief Justice of Nigeria from Mr. Yahaya Mahmood, Esq and Mr. Alfred N. Agu, Esq on 08/02/2010 or 15/02/2010, the Chief Justice of Nigeria invited the Hon. President of the Court of Appeal to his Chambers after some discussions with Hon. Justice Dahiru Musdapher on the matter. The discussion between -the three of them did not solve the problem. On the 18th February, 2010, the Chief Justice of Nigeria wrote a letter to the President, Court of Appeal intimating him of the complaints, attaching copies of the complaints .and at the same time, informing the President, Court of Appeal to ensure that further action on the appeal is put on hold pending the determination of the serious allegations against him and the Justices of the Panel. The Chief Justice of Nigeria requested the President, Court of Appeal to forward his comments to him the following day. The judgment in issue had been slated to be delivered on the 24th of February, 2010.
4.01.2 Another letter dated 19th February, 2010 was written by the Chief Justice of Nigeria to all Justices of the Court of Appeal on the Panel of the Sokoto Governorship Appeal, forwarding copies of the complaints to them. The Chief Justice of Nigeria requested them to forward their comments to him on 22/02/2010 and at the same time, informing them to ensure that further action on the appeal is put on hold, pending the determination of the serious allegations leveled against them and the President, Court of Appeal. However, on 24/02/2010, after hearing submissions of Counsel- for the parties as to whether or not to put the judgment on bold, the Justices ruled that they would in the interest of their reputation which was at stake put the judgment on hold pending the investigation of the allegations against them.
4.01.3 On account of these letters and the ruling of the Panel after taking) addresses of Counsel, the delivery of the judgment and other pending matters relating therewith were suspended.
4.01.4 On 22nd February 010, the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) through one Dr. Ademola Adebo, for the National Chairman of DPP, Lt. Gen J.T. Useni (Rtd), wrote a petition to the National Judicial Council against the Chief Justice of Nigeria alleging perverting and subverting the spirit of the Constitution, misconduct and- contravention of the Code of Conduct by ordering a stay and arrest .of judgment in Sokoto State Governorship Election Appeal.
4.01.5 On 28th February, 2010, another petition which is word for word the same as the one dated 22nd February, 2010; but this time signed by one Dr. Abubakar Muhammadu Sokoto for Lt Gen. J.T. Useni (Rtd) was sent to the National Judicial Council.
4.01.6 The gist and fulcrum of the two petitions is captured in a paragraph in each of the two petitions as follows:-
“The present .instance where the CJN in complete negation and violation of his powers under the constitution has written to the President of the Court of Appeal ordering him to stop the delivery of judgment of Sokoto State Governorship Election Appeal already slated for 24th February, 2010 is another blatant incident of selfish individual-or sectional interests being used to subvert the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, the fons et origo of our legal system”.
4.01.7 During the hearing, the new National Chairman, General Bashir Magashi and the Gubernatorial candidate of-DPP in Sokoto State gave evidence which will be considered later.
4.01.8 It may be helpful perhaps to give a brief historical background to what brought about the allegations.
4.01.9 It started in April 2007 when Alhaji Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi challenged the victory of Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko as elected governor of Sokoto State . Alhaji Dingyadi lost at the Election Tribunal. He appealed to the Court of Appeal, Kaduna Division. The appeal succeeded and the election was nullified. In allowing the appeal, the Court of Appeal made the following orders.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AS FOLLOWS:
1. That judgment of the governorship and legislative houses election tribunal sitting in Sokoto delivered on the 29th day of October, 2007 in Election Petition No. SS/EPT/GOVT/1/2007 is hereby set aside.
2. The Sokoto State Governorship election held on the 14th day of April, 2007 is hereby annulled for substantial irregularities in the conduct of the election and on the ground that the 1st Respondent was not qualified to contest the election as at the 14th day of April, 2007.
3. The Independent National electoral Commission shall conduct fresh governorship election for Sokoto State within 90 days of the date hereof.
4. The fresh election ordered shall be between the same parties and candidates as appear on Exhibit R8
5. The Speaker of the Sokoto State House of Assembly shall be sworn-in immediately, as the Acting Governor of Sokoto State pending the outcome of the fresh election herein ordered.
4.01.10 Another fresh election was conducted on 24th May, 2008 pursuant to the judgment of the Court of Appeal. Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko was again returned as having been duly elected as Governor of Sokoto State.
4.0-1.11 Alhaji Dingyadi again went back to the Election Tribunal in Sokoto State in June 2008 challenging the return of Alhaji Wamakko.
4.01.12 The Second Tribunal by a majority decision dismissed the petition. Alhaji Dingyadi again appealed to the Court of Appeal, this time at Sokoto Division, which was then created. At the same time, Alhaji Dingyadi came to Abuja and filed an action at the Federal High Court, Abuja asking the Court to interpret the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Kaduna Division. The Federal High Court declined jurisdiction. Alhaji Dingyadi again appealed to the Abuja Division of Court of Appeal. Consequently, two appeals were pending before the two Divisions of the Court of Appeal. One at Sokoto and the other at Abuja Division. An interlocutory appeal in the course of the appeal at Abuja Division eventually went to the Supreme Court. These appeals were pending when the petitions .relating to Sokoto Governorship matter and a dispute between the Chief Justice of Nigeria and the President, Court of Appeal arose.
For ease of reference, it may help if the evidence of the Chairman of DPP, Gen. Bashir Magashi and the Governorship candidate of the party, Alhaji Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi is set out here.
i) General Bashir Magashi
This witness is the new Chairman of the Party. He adopted the petition of his Party written for the former Chairman, Lt Gen. J.T. Useni.
In his evidence, he stated that the CJN wrote a letter to the Justices of the Court of Appeal to stop the delivery of judgment slated for 24/0211. He stated that the letter was read in open Court on the day of the judgment and the Justices complied. He identified two letters – one written to the PCA and the other to the Justices, Exhibits D and-E.
The witness continued- to say that when a person has expectations and those expectations were put on hold, without any constitutional backup, one would feel disappointed, particularly when the Court of Appeal is the final Court on election matters.
The witness confirmed under cross-examination that he did not know who read the letter in open Court, because he was not present He also confirmed that their letter of complaint was dated 22/02/10 but that they had no foreknowledge of the judgment. He added that the CJN has no power to act without going through the National Judicial Council. He however conceded that the CJN has a duty to send a copy of petition to any Judge when one is written against him.
ii) Alhaji Muhammadu Maigari Dingyadi
His evidence is that he was very central to the issues raised in the petition. In his evidence, he mentioned the administrative delay of 11 months to establish a panel for Sokoto State Appeal.
He raised the issue of CJN’s involvement in the matter in ignoring the provision of the Constitution and putting on hold the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Sokoto that was ready for delivery by a letter he sent to the Justices pending the disposal of serious allegations against them. He contended that there were no serious allegations to warrant the stay of the judgment, because no evidence of leakage was shown in Yahaya Mahmood’s and Agu’s petitions. That even if there was a leakage, it was not his fault. He asserted that there were occasions when judgment leaked but they were never buried.
He alluded the fact that any document that passed- through more than twenty hands would become public document. He stated that they came to know “some dates” about the case weeks before they wrote the complaint on 22/02/10 to pre-empt the CJN’s letters; That as politicians, they know themselves, they hear what one says about the other. He urged the Panel to look into their petition and do justice.
Under cross-examination, he conceded that there was a motion pending before the Court on 24/02/2010.
4.02 PART B: ALLEGATIONS AGAINST THE HON. CJN BY HON. JUSTICE ISA A. SALAMI, PCA
4.02.1 As a result of petitions received from Yahaya Mahmood, Esq and Alfred N. Agu, Esq the Chief Justice of Nigeria held discussions with Hon. Justice Dahiru Musdapher, and that led to invitation to Hon. Justice Salami, the President, Court of Appeal to the Chief Justice of Nigeria’s Chambers. Further discussions were held about the petitions. The issue was not concluded. Eventually, the Chief Justice of Nigeria wrote a letter to the President, Court of Appeal on 18/02/2010 attaching the petitions and asking for comments on the allegations made and the President of the Court of Appeal was asked to ensure that further action on the judgment is put on hold.
4.02.2 Another letter dated 19102/2010 from the Chief Justice of Nigeria to the justices who heard the appeal with the petitions attached were forwarded to the Justices for their comments and they were asked to ensure putting on hold further action on the judgments pending the determination of the allegations leveled against them.
4.02.3 In his reply to the letter dated 22/02/2010, the President, Court of Appeal raised many weighty issues. For the purpose of clarity, some relevant portions of the President; Court of Appeal’s reply are reproduced below.-
“I have read the two petitions carefully but I cannot, regrettably, find any serious allegations contained therein. I am also unable to see the urgency in the matter to warrant Your Lordship intervening in a Court proceedings, which interference respectfully is contemptuous of the Court sitting in Sokoto. Yours appears to be a deliberate attempt to frustrate the hearing. It is the practice of the National Judicial Council on whose behalf Your Lordship is purportedly acting, not to interfere in matters that are subjudice.
The appeal in Sokoto arises from an election petition of 2007. We are in 2010. We all should realize the urgency attendant upon, mutters arising from election petitions. For anyone to consider fixture of such election petition for hearing in 2010 as premature and undesirable leaves much to be desired.
I do not know what motivated my predecessor to think that a pre- election matter take precedent over election appeal. But I am firmly the view that making an order to the effect that hearing in the matter should abide the determination of another matter in the Supreme Court on the letter of one of the parties without hearing the other side, is most inappropriate. It negates any principle of fair hearing. So, when Mr. Yahaya Mahmood in company of Senator Dahir Tambawal approached me with a request that I should maintain status quo by continuing to bury the appeal, I told them that that approach would not be in the interest of justice. That they should appear in the Court and trash out the existence of the various suits in different Courts including the Supreme Court in the open court. This will afford all the parties the chance to vent their views. I equally make it clear to them that I was not prepared to meddle in the case. on personal relationship basis. This probably incensed them .
This takes me to the lynch pin of their petition. The second visit of both Yahaya and Senator Dahiru was after the appeal was heard. It was not to persuade me to change my decision on perpetual adjournment of the appeal. When they came, I took them in as friends, unknown to me that they were enemies within. They raised the issue of the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Kaduna Division, which after finding that the Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Aliyu Magartakarda Wammakko was not properly nominated, it made consequential orders which included that of a re-run election, and that the candidate found to be unqualified, to participate in the re-run election. I agreed with them that the judgment was incongruous, but explained that they were made against the respective parties. While the order pronouncing Wammakko unqualified was in favour of the Appellant, the other one to the effect that he should participate in the re-run election was in favour of the Respondent. If there were to be a right of appeal, the parties would have to appeal against the order made against them, otherwise, the decision subsists against the party who failed to do so.
In the circumstance of this case, there is no right of appeal hence Governor Wammakko could participate in the re-run as he did, and the Appellant at the end of the day would be entitled to raise the. issue of his disqualification as a constitutional issue. I told them that one is not subsumed in the other. The Senator apparently appreciated my explanation and thanked me for it, but requested me to persuade the Court to decide the appeal in favour of Wanmakko in the interest of peace. I told him that I would not go out of my way to order them to dismiss the appeal or; in fact will not interfere in the working of the five competent Justices on the panel, if in their opinion they found merit in it. It is my failure to grant their request that turned otherwise cordial relationship sour. It is most unfortunate.
In fact, having gone through the petitions over, happily nowhere is allegations of financial impropriety made against me or any of the respectable and honourable gentlemen who sat on the appeal unlike in Uba’s case where huge sums of money were alleged to have been given to the Justices. Nevertheless, your predecessor in office in his wisdom, allow the judgment to be delivered. He did not rush to conclusion in the manner you are doing. I will appeal to Your Lordship to make haste gently, otherwise Your Lordship may wittingly or unwittingly bring the Judiciary into gross disrepute.
Moreover, there is no scintilla of evidence that I met any member of the Appellants. Neither is there such evidence against the Justices. All we have is that the Respondents unconstitutionally breach or invaded our right to privacy and unlawfully recorded our discussions .
The piece of evidence violated our right of privacy in the Constitution. They were also obtained without first administering caution on us. Are these admissible evidence? I thought this should have agitated the mind of Your Lordship before placing store on the evidence as the Chief Justice of Nigeria who is required to defend the Judiciary. Quo Bono. The question is what is the -locus standi of the Independent National Electoral Commission in this matter. The appellants are not challenging the conduct of the election. What is in issue here is that the appellants are contesting qualification or otherwise of Wammakko. It is therefore incumbent on the candidate to establish his status, it is not INEC to plunge into the fray on the side of one of the candidates whom INEC itself agree was not qualified to contest the election.
Meanwhile, I wish to remind Your Lordship that you, on 8th February, 2010 invited me to Your Lordship’s Chambers to request me to instruct the Justices to dismiss the appeal. Your Lordship told me that was what the Supreme Court did in Amechi’s case. Dahiru Musdapher JSC was there. I rejected Your Lordship’s entreaties.
Thereafter, petitions emerged in Your Lordship’s Chambers on 8th February, 2010. On 16th February, 2010, you invited me to your Chambers and gave me to read the petition written by Mr. Yahaya Mahmood. After reading, you asked if I would not disband the panel. I told Your Lordship I would discuss it with the panel, a suggestion Your Lordship did not appreciate, and you made it clear, and asked me to just disband them and report back to you. I have not reported back to you to date. The carefully orchestrated pressure was intended to, make me falter but I thank Almighty Allah that I have not succumbed. If I had faltered you would not be there for me.
In view of all the above, I do not think that I am in a position to carry out Your Lordship’s order to stop the appeal pending the determination of the investigation of “serious allegation” made against me and the Justices in the two petitions. No responsible tribunal will consider the contents of the two documents to amount to serious indictment. In any case, Your Lordship in an unprecedented manner have taken over the running of the Court of Appeal. You have unilaterally made the order, which I respectfully consider unlawful to stop the judgment.
It would have caused me virtually nothing if I had surrendered to Your Lordship’s requests which constitute, in my respectful view, dangerous precedent for which I would have stood condemned before posterity. We should not allow it to happen in our time”.4.02.4 To have a complete picture, it will help if the Chief Justice of Nigeria’s response to the President, Court of Appeal’s allegations is also set out. In a sworn. affidavit dated 07/03/2011, particularlly in paragraphs 6 and 7 of the affidavit, the Chief Justice of Nigeria deposed as follows:-
“6. That all the aforementioned petitions written against me are in respect of the Sokoto State Gubernatorial Election Petition Appeal and my Date of Birth.
7. That for record purposes and setting the facts right, I hereby state as follows:-
i) That I did not at any time whatsoever interfere in any form or manner with the Sokoto State Gubernatorial- Election Petition Appeal.
ii) That at some stage, while the appeal was pending at the Court of Appeal, in my capacity as the Chairman of the National Judicial Council, I received written Petitions addressed to me pertaining the said appeal.
iii) That one of the complaints in the -petitions was that the judgment about to be delivered by the Court of Appeal in respect of the Sokoto State Gubernatorial Election Petition Appeal had leaked.
iv) That I called Honourable Justice Dahiru Musdapher, the next most senior Justice of the Supreme Court and Deputy Chairman, National Judicial Council to my Chambers and showed him the petitions and sought for his advice on how the matter could be handled.
v) That Honourable Justice Dahiru Musdapher suggested that we call the Hon. President of the Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Ayo Isa Salami to inform him of the petitions.
vi) That I therefore, called the Hon. President of the Court of Appeal by telephone to come to my Chambers.
vii) That when the Hon. President of the Court of Appeal came to my Chambers, in the presence of Hon. Justice Dahiru Musdapber, I told him I had received a complaint that the judgment to be delivered in respect of the Sokoto State Gubernatorial Election Petition Appeal had leaked.
viii) That the Hon. President of the Court of Appeal, Justice I. A. Salami, OFR, admitted that the judgment had leaked.
ix) That I showed him the petitions I had received in respect of the Sokoto State Gubernatorial Election Petition Appeal and told him that the only way to maintain the integrity of the Court was to reconstitute the panel, as that was the proper cause of action to take.
x) That I even reminded him that his predecessor in office, Honourable Justice Umaru Abdullahi, CON, had a similar problem in the Court of Appeal, Kaduna Division and had to disband and re-constitute another Panel which was presided over by Hon. Justice Isa Ayo Salami, OFR, himself.
xi) That after our advice to Hon. Justice Salami, he left us with the impression that he would disband the Panel, having admitted that the judgment had leaked.
xii) That when Hon. Justice Salami did not revert to me on the matter, I decided to forward the petitions to him and other members of the Panel for their reaction.
xiii) That I had at no time whatsoever met with the President of the Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Ayo Isa Salami alone, privately or officially to discuss the Sokoto State Gubernatorial Petition Appeal.
xiv) That I was at all material times in the company of Hon. Justice Dahiru Musdapher.
xv) That at no time whatsoever did I request the President of the Court of Appeal to instruct the Sokoto Gubernatorial Petition Appeal Panel to ‘dismiss’ the appeal.
xvi) That .as a Judicial Officer of many years standing, I know as a fact and as a matter of law that .any such .instruction was not within the purview of my Constitutional powers.
xvii) That the only steps I took in my capacity as the Chairman, National Judicial Council, was to direct, vide letter No. NJCICAfDMlIV/48 of 19th February, 2010, that the judgment that was to be .delivered in the Sokoto Gubernatorial Election Petition Appeal ‘be put on hold’ pending the investigation of the petitions I had received.
That I did not, in the letter under reference, direct the Panel on the Sokoto Gubernatorial Election Petition Appeal not to deliver judgment.
xviii)That as regards to the Sokoto Gubernatorial Election Petition Appeal that was before’ the Supreme Court of Nigeria , I was neither on the Panel nor did I direct the Panel on the judgment to give ..
xix) That when Hon. Justice I.A. Salami sent his response to the Petitions and the allegations against him, the National Judicial Council could not deliberate on same because the matter was sub-judice.”
4.02.5 The President of the Court of Appeal responded to the Chief Justice of Nigeria’s affidavit by swearing to another affidavit dated 31/03/11. It is helpful to reproduce the relevant paragraphs of the President, Court of Appeal’s affidavit.
4) That with reference to paragraph 7i – xix of the said affidavit I state as follows:
i) That it is true that Honourable Justice Dahiru Musdapher was present when the Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria called me to his office on the 8th day of February, 2010 in respect of Sokoto State Gubernatorial Election petition Appeal;
ii) That I was not a member of the panel of Honourable Justices of the Court of Appeal that heard the Sokoto State Gubernatorial Appeal;
iii) That to my knowledge, there was no allegation of judgment leakage and no judgment, whether actual or leaked was shown to me by the Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria;
iv) That with particular reference to the deposition in- paragraph 7 (viii) of the aforesaid affidavit of Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria, I did not admit (to the Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria) that the judgment in the Sokoto State Gubernatorial appeal had leaked;
v) The Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria actually instructed me to direct the panel of justices hearing the Sokoto State Gubernatorial Appeal panel to dismiss the Appeal which I told him I could not do;
vi) That there was no advice given to me by Honourable Justice Dahiru Musdapher although instruction was given to me by the Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria to disband the Sokoto State Gubernatorial appeal panel after the situation mentioned in paragraph 4( v) above;
vii) The Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria instructed the justices of the Court of Appeal in the Sokoto State Gubernatorial Appeal panel not to deliver judgment which had been reserved;
5) That still on the issue of leakage of judgment, further state as follows:
i) That it was on the 8th day of February, 2010 that the Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria invited me to his office;
ii) That the Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria, wrote me a query on the 18th day of February, 2010 in which he said that two people had complained to him’ in writing against me;
iii) That the two people mentioned by the Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria are:
a) Yahaya Mahmood, Esq; and
b) Alfred N. Agu, Esq.
v) That paragraph 2 in annexure 1 is an admission of act of interference by the Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria .
vi) That each of the petitions Annexures 2 and 3 is dated 15th day of February; 2010, seven (7} days .after the _Hon. Chief Justice called me to his office in the presence of Hon. Justice Dahiru Musdapher;
•Culled from THE NATION