The three judges of the Appeal Court in Sokoto have withdrawn from the case challenging the judgement of the lower court which upheld the primaries of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara state over bribery allegation to the tune of $3million (dollars).
One of the respondents, Kabiru Marafa, alleged that there was bribery allegation against the judges which made them lose confidence in them.
Counsel to Senator Marafa, Barrister Muhammad Nuhu, alleged that there was a posting on social media platform, alleging that the judges had received three million Dollars from one Kabiru Kamba to compromise.
“Because of that my client is not comfortable with them and urge the president of the Court of Appeal to constitute a new panel to entertain the case,” he said.
Responding to the allegation, the presiding Judge, Justice Ahmed Belgori said they have decided to disqualify themselves from the case over the grievous allegation in view of the present situation in the judiciary and the country.
However, the judges had before withdrawing from the case, refused the application of the appellant, Aminu Sani Jaji who wanted to withdraw the appeal.
The panel held that he (Jaji) ought to have waited for the substantive hearing date before moving the application.
Reacting, Jaji who represents Kauran Namoda-Birnin Magaji federal constituency expressed shock over the ruling in an interview with newsmen.
“I don’t know why they rejected my application. This is my case which I have the right to withdraw at any given time in line with the 2016 Court of Appeal order 11(1) which gives me all the power to withdraw any appeal but the judges using their own parameter of judgement decided to dishonour my application.”
According to him, the decision to withdraw the case was necessitated by the calls he received from all over the country.
“But to my candid surprise, it is my food, I ordered for it and I said I don’t want it but they said no I don’t have that power. So it sounds strange to me. So I asked “is this the kind of judiciary we have today, that somebody cannot exercise his birth right?” he queried.
He added: “That was the reason our lawyers said on our behalf we don’t have confidence on the judges because of what we saw on the social media and the privileged information we heard.”
Jaji, however, said they were ready to accept the verdict of the new panel and also cooperate with President Muhammadu Buhari in resolving the matter as long as the candidates picked by Governor Abdulazeez Yari were not adopted as the flag bearers of APC in forthcoming elections in Zamfara state.