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Monday, 5 June 2017

Senator demands probe of Judge, Dino Melaye

Senator demands probe of judge, Dino Melaye

Senator Smart Adeyemi, who represented Kogi West for two terms, yesterday demanded a probe of the alleged telephone conversation between Justice Akon Ikpeme and Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West) – his successor.

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Adeyemi said he sensed a foul play in the way his election petition was struck out by Justice Ikpeme-led Election Petition Tribunal.

Adeyemi, who made the demands at a briefing in Abuja, pleaded with the Chief Justice of the Federation and the National Judicial Council (NJC) to probe the alleged audio tape of the conversation.

He said: “I hereby call for a thorough investigation by the appropriate authorities – that is, the Chief Justice of the Federation, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, the National Judicial Council( NJC), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission( EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Commission( ICPC) and the Directorate for State Security Service( DSS).

“Like I mentioned earlier, I am of the opinion that we have people of high integrity in the Judiciary.

However, just like there is a Judas in every 12, some people of questionable character may want to infiltrate the ranks of our incorruptible judges and ministers in the hallowed temple of Justice.

“I hold the view that members of the Justice Akon Ikpeme-led panel have the burden to come out and prove their innocence to the world, especially as touching on the recent leaked telephone conversation between Justice Ikpeme and a litigant in her tribunal in the person of Dino Melaye. Nigerians are watching and waiting.”

He added: “I am not in doubt that money and other extraneous unethical considerations played an active role in the various rulings of the Justice Ikpeme-led panel in favour of Dino Melaye. If my brother Dino denies the audio clip, let him look at the mirror before him, the person will appear.

For two years, I kept praying to God to make a show of shame of all conspirators against me at the tribunal. By the power of God, more revelations will still come!”

Adeyemi said he was demanding for the probe to avert a recurrence of abuse of the judicial process in the future.

He added: “Whether the audio recording was genuine or not. Let the communication firms be involved to track this conversation. We need forensic experts to get to the roots of this alleged bribe saga.

“For two years, I kept mute because I had no evidence to prove but I know God will intervene and expose those behind the electoral fraud in Kogi West Senatorial District. The release of the audio clip has shown that a lot went wrong.

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“The redress is to make sure that tomorrow nobody will be thinking of bribing a judge. It is not about winning this case; it is about helping Nigerian judiciary. If this thing can happen to me as a senator, what is the hope for the common man.”

Asked if the judiciary decided not to probe the audio tape, Adeyemi said: “I have the assurance of God that we have not heard the last word. I know there will be more revelations.

“You don’t have to be a judge to know that the results have been tampered. Can any judge accept mutilated results? I swallowed the bitter.

“Though, we know that there is an end to litigation and this particular petition has been decided one way or the other yet, the following are pertinent factual and moral records of what transpired at the tribunal, which are now questions for Justice Ikpeme and her team to answer, in order to erase the misconception (if any) of corruption, which hovers around them and to save the image and integrity of the judiciary.

“The tribunal ordered a recount of the ballot papers and it was discovered that 2500 void votes were counted for Dino Melaye to be declared winner of the election. Why was no action taken on this finding?

“That there were mutilation /cancellation on the faces of all the results sheets delivered by INEC.

“That there are many wards of the senatorial district, whose results the INEC officials deliberately refused to collate and enter on the final result sheet. These wards are spread across the four local government areas of Kabba-Bunu Local Government, Ijumu Local Government, Kogi Local Government and Lokoja Local Government.

“That the Justice Ikpeme-led panel accepted a sheet of paper, as report of primaries in the face of an authentic report of primaries brought and tendered during the hearing of the petition by INEC officials.

“That Justice Ikpeme gave probative value to a sheet of paper as reports of primaries tendered by a youth corps member allegedly coming from INEC office Abuja without an identity card.”

But Melaye had also said he won his election in a free and fair manner and will defeat Adeyemi any day.

He said: “This is not a matter of boast, I have defeated him and I will also defeat him, even if election is conducted 100 times, provided the election is free and fair.”

One of Melaye’s ardent supporters said Adeyemi was chasing shadows.

He said: “Adeyemi lost to Melaye because he failed to follow due process in pursuing his petition.

“Justice Ikpeme said Adeyemi ran foul of the Electoral Act in filing reply to the 1st respondent’s response out of time

“Ikpeme also held that for failing to apply for Form TF001 for pre-hearing session within the stipulated seven days, the tribunal was of the view that the petitioner had failed to apply for the issuance of the form.

“She said pursuance of other issues relating to Adeyemi’s petition could only amount to ‘mere academic exercise’.”

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