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I was offered bribe, threatened, removed as chairman of Rivers tribunal – Justice Pindigi

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Hon. Justice Muazu Pindigi, the former chairman of the Rivers state governorship petitions tribunal, has recounted his experience at the tribunal.

He said, “Two weeks before I was removed as chairman of the Tribunal, I got a call from an unknown number, asking for an appointment for us to meet in Kaduna. And I asked, what for? 

And the caller said, it’s on a need to know basis. That the details of the meeting would be made known to me in Kaduna. And I declined. 

The next was a call from the DSS, saying they were all expecting me at meeting in Kaduna. And demanded why I turned down the appointment. And I said, I’m a chairman of a Tribunal, and do not have the luxury to attend meetings. Especially one without an agenda. 

And the caller from DSS said there was a petition of fraud against me, in a case I handled in Kaduna in 2009. And I asked him to charge me accordingly, in line with the extant laws. 

I was called again by another caller; who apologised to me, on behalf of the DSS. And offered to compensate me for the harassment I received from the DSS, and rescheduled another meeting, in Kaduna. And I declined again. 

And the next was a letter removing me as the Chairman of the Rivers State governorship petitions tribunal, and replacing me with Justice Ambrosa. As is the practice, I offered to brief Justice Ambrosa, on the proceedings so far, but he said that won’t be necessary that he has been following the case. 

Now, on the judgement delivered by Justice Ambrosa; it will be unethical and unprofessional to denigrate, or condemn the judgement of a contemporary colleague. 

However, the Supreme Court has said, that for an election to be annulled, the petitioner has to prove that elections didn’t hold at the polling units, where the winner was returned elected. And I’m not sure that the Ambrosa’s judgement arrived through that route.”


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