On Thursday, the Court of Appeal refuted the news about the alleged resignation of a member from the five-member panel responsible for handling petitions seeking to nullify the election of President Bola Tinubu.
According to a high-ranking court official, who spoke to Vanguard, the information is deemed to be “fake news” and is believed to be spread by “evil rumor mongers.”
The anonymous source, who was not authorized to speak to the press, insisted that no such event took place.
He said: “I was with some members of the panel yesterday, and I can authoritatively tell you that there was nothing like that.
“In fact, we were shocked when our attention was drawn to the fake news. The true position is that parties in the petitions were given time to file and exchange their final written address. They are already doing that.
“Once the process is completed, the panel will communicate a date for the parties to appear in court to adopt their processes, after which the petitions will be fixed for judgment.
“So, it is absurd for someone to sit in a corner of his room and concoct lies from the figment of his or her imagination.
“In fact, our attention was equally drawn to another fake news that a former Governor of Rivers State held a meeting with members of the court outside the country.
“These are very laughable. How can the honorable justices on the panel travel abroad when they have enormous work pending on their desks?
“Please ignore the fake news. It is very unfortunate. Hopefully, before the end of the day, the Appeal Court will issue a formal statement on the matter.
“I believe that unless someone is made a scapegoat, this fake news trend will continue,” the source added.
Meanwhile, a piece of “fake news” circulating on social media has gained traction. The report claims that a member of the presidential election petition court, Justice Boloukuoromo M. Ugo, resigned from his position due to alleged pressure from the Executive arm of the government, which he believed would have detrimental effects on the country’s democracy.
According to the report, Justice Ugo released a statement expressing his concerns that aligning with the government’s stance on the court matter would be detrimental to Nigeria’s democracy. He felt compelled to speak out and could not, in good conscience, remain silent.
In the alleged statement, Justice Ugo disclosed that he was urged to compromise the independence of the judiciary by ruling in favor of President Tinubu. Furthermore, the report claims that the panel was allegedly instructed to suppress evidence and dismiss all petitions against President Tinubu.
It’s important to note that the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Kayode Ariwoola, had already debunked a separate news item suggesting he had a telephone conversation with President Tinubu concerning the petitions seeking to remove him from office.