The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has accused the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, of hatching a plot to smear the character of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Mohammed, ahead of the September 13 judgement of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.
The group alleged that this was the outcome of a recent strategy meeting of PDP leaders and the former Vice President in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The BMO said in a statement on Friday by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju, and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke, that it had credible information that Abubakar and the PDP, fearing near-certain loss at the Tribunal, were preparing the ground for an appeal at the Supreme Court.
The group said one of their strategies for a favourable outcome at the Supreme Court is to force the CJN to recuse himself from the Supreme Court panel to hear the appeal.
The statement said: “We want to alert Nigerians of a devious plot concocted by PDP elements in their usual haven of dubious strategies to launch scathing media attacks on the judiciary with Chief Justice Tanko Mohammed as main target.
“The latest Dubai strategy of lies has been tidied up and is to be launched soon with the ultimate aim of preventing the CJN from heading the Supreme Court panel that will consider their appeal against the outcome of the Tribunal which they envisaged won’t be favourable to them.
“It is a pre-emptive move by a group of unpatriotic politicians which we want Nigerians to be aware of, before they bombard the public space with the type of spurious claims that made the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa stand down from the five-member panel that considered Atiku Abubakar’s petition against President Muhammadu Buhari’s overwhelming victory at the polls.
“Nigerians saw how these characters did not care about the sterling qualities of one of the country’s best judges as they maligned her for weeks on end in social and traditional media. They also saw through the crocodile tears of the former Vice President after Justice Bulkachuwa opted to recuse herself, even after the Tribunal dismissed PDP’s petition against her.
“Now, Atiku’s attention is on how to get Chief Justice Mohammed out of the way by again using the media to whip up unnecessary public sentiment, in line with his well-documented desperation to rule the country.
“In case he has forgotten, the PDP presidential candidate needs to be reminded of the promise one of his campaign spokesmen, Segun Sowunmi made on his behalf that Atiku would accept the verdict of the Tribunal on his petition challenging the emergence of President Buhari as winner of the election.
“Of course, we recognise his constitutional right to proceed to the Supreme Court but we are opposed to a situation where a former Vice President would be part of a scheme to tarnish the image and reputation of the head of our nation’s judiciary.
“For a man that once claimed to be interested in ‘institutional reforms that would enhance national development’, we consider it absurd that he is at the forefront of efforts to rubbish national institutions and their heads.
“And just like we said before the 2019 elections that their Dubai strategy would fail, this Dubai strategy too will also collapse like a pack of cards.”