The Kano State Commissioner for Lands, Adamu Aliyu, says judges hearing governorship election petitions – but allegedly collected bribes – should choose between the money and their lives.
Aliyu issued the warning to the judges presiding over the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Thursday while delivering during a solidarity protest organised by the ruling New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP).
During his address to NNPP members, Commissioner Aliyu stated, “Any judge that allows himself to be used and collect bribes and pass judgment that is not right, we want to tell him he must choose between his life and the bribe money he collected.”
The statement has sent shockwaves through the state’s political landscape, raising serious concerns about the impartiality and safety of the judges overseeing the election dispute.
Last month, the governor received NNPP supporters protesting against the alleged bribery of judges at the election petitions tribunal.
The election in question pertains to the governorship seat, for which Abba Yusuf of the NNPP is being challenged by Nasiru Gawuna, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC). The tribunal has yet to announce a date for its judgment.
Commissioner Aliyu’s remarks took a more ominous turn as he suggested that the consequences of an unfavourable judgment would be dire.
“You have seen the conflict (banditry) in Zamfara, Kaduna, and Katsina,” he warned. “I swear because of this governorship seat, everyone will die. The conflict that will start in Kano will be deadlier than the ones in those states and Borno.”
This alarming statement has drawn strong criticism from various quarters, with calls for immediate action to ensure the safety of the judges and the integrity of the electoral process. The Secretary to the Kano State Government, Baffa Bichi, and other top officials were present at the event where these threats were made.
The issuance of death threats against tribunal judges, alongside allegations of bribery, has cast a shadow over the fairness and legality of the ongoing election dispute. It remains to be seen how authorities will respond to these disturbing developments, and what impact they will have on the tribunal’s proceedings.