The Conference of Harmonized Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria(COHCSON) has revealed that pro-secessionists under the Yoruba Nation group and the Indigenous People Of Biafra, IPOB have raised $5 million to compromise lawyers and judges in their ongoing cases with the Nigerian Government in court.
In a Press Conference on Tuesday, the group condmned what it described as “an execution of a detailed plan to subvert and undermine the country’s judicial system”
A statement by the group’s leader, Oduma Richard Oduma, read; “When we first heard that the dissident and seccesionist IPOB and Yoruba Nation groups were planning to infiltrate the courts at all levels we dismissed the allegations. But latest developments have indeed forced us to raise this alert.”
“It has come to our notice that the groups are resorting to blackmail and intimidation to hoodwink the judges into granting them unmerited judicial favours. Recently a State High in Oyo State presided by Justice Ladiran delivered a judgment in favour of Sunday Igboho and awarded him 20billion naira as claims. As part of the evil plots, IPOB has instituted a 5Billion naira case at the Abia State High Court Umuahia where a Judge would, out of fear of harassment and violence, grant them the plea. It has become obvious that IPOB intends to use its violence stricken sit-at-home enforcement style to force the judges do their bidding.”
“On the case of Igboho, we are aware that having failed to secure his release from Benin Republic authorities, the leaders resolved to raise funds to patronise friendly judges in Nigeria who are sympathetic to their cause. A serving governor in the south West appears to be part of the plot. The leaders in that meeting also agreed to sponsor more rallies abroad to give Nigeria a bad image internationally. Aside raising funds from diaspora groups and individuals who share in the evil dream of dividing the country, the group agreed to shop for a friendly judge to award them claims against the government thus the 20billion naira.”
“We are aware too that the representative of IPOB was mandated in their last meeting in Benin Republic to also institute a fresh suit against the federal government agents.This fresh suit by IPOB though an afterthought which confirms our position. These judges at the state level are said to be emotional attached to their ethnic groups and the separatists.”
The group also warned lawyers and Judges to resist any temptation to subvert the rule of law.
“We like to use this medium to appeal to judges and lawyers to resist the temptation to betray their secret oath of office and to stick to the law in the over all interest of the country. No amount of inducement should entice any patriot to endanger the lives of over two hundred million Nigerians.”
“Judges and lawyers who administer justice should be reminded that the survival of nations depends on the patriotism of her citizens.”
The group also stated that the secessionists setup a $5 million fund to bribe Judges.
“They had set up a fund raising Committee to raise a financial war chest to compromise the judges and confront the Nigerian Government. So far, the groups have raised a huge sum in dollars to bribe two judges in the south west and now South East? Why would judges be induced if the litigants have no predetermined motive? Are they already aware of the legal outcomes, having successfully bribed their way through?”
“We are using this opportunity to appeal to the national judicial council (NJC) to rise to the occasion and sanction erring judges.”
“The recent warning given by the Chief Justice Of Nigeria should be enough to guide the Honourable Judges. No desperate seccesionists should be allowed to rubbish our collective unity and threaten our sovereign existence or undermine the integrity of our courts.”
“We request the chief judge of Abia state to reassign the suit filed by IPOB lawyers at the Abia high court or the Judge should recuse himself. We do not have confidence in a few identified judges to sit on the cases in question. Available evidence suggest glaring judicial bias and solidarity for one party, IPOB and Yoruba nation agitators as well as politicians.”