The Ekiti in Diaspora yesterday declared their opposition to an alleged attempt to remove the Chairman of the Ekiti State Election Petitions Tribunal, Justice Hamma Barka for “permitting too many exhibits” in the the governorship petition over the April 25 rerun poll. At the weekend, an online news agency, Saharareporters, fingered the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Michael Aondoakaa (SAN) as the arrowhead of the plot to remove Justice Barka.
It alleged that Governor Segun Oni met with one of the senior lawyers handling his defence at the tribunal and a former official of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the latest developments at the tribunal at the Government House a couple of days ago.
In an online statement yesterday, the Ekiti Parapo in North Carolina, United States, warned against any plot to pervert justice over the governorship dispute.
It said the video evidence already admitted by the tribunal would help the tribunal in determining the true winner of the poll.
The group warned that the judges adjudicating over the dispute should be allowed to carry out their assignments.In the statement by its President, Mr. Segun Ajibulu, the group said: “Any attempt to supress justice at the ongoing governorship tribunal in Ekiti will not be taken lightly, most especially by the Ekiti in the Diaspora”.The body urged Aondoakaa “and his cohorts” to allow the truth to prevail.
It advised Oni to make available before the tribunal evidence that would assist him rather than resorting to “underhand tactics”.
The Ekiti Parapo warned the Federal Government not to truncate the course of justice as that would run contrary to the rule of law mantra of President Yar’ Adua and rubbish his electoral reforms.
“Enough is enough; we the Ekiti have paid enough on this political dispensation. A goat does not bite but when a goat is pushed to the wall it will turn and bite.
“Please, we are sounding a note of warning: we will fight with the last pint in our blood if our fundamental human right is being taken for granted. Ekiti will set the pace for 2011 in Nigeria.
“Up till now, some government workers and teachers in the state have not been paid their salaries in the last three months.
“Segun Oni should concern himself with how to pay these poor workers, instead of scheming and trying to call white a black.
“Those who are planning to turn Ekiti to a political war theatre by denying the people the candidate of their choice will meet the wrath of God,” the statement read.
Two judges who served on the first tribunal which heard the 2007 governorship petition – Justice Doris Okuwobi and Anthony Ogakwu – were transferred out on the strength of petitions written against them by government sympathisers.