Friday, April 19, 2024

Judge suspended for bribery nullifies Alex Otti’s candidacy

Mr Yunusa’s latest controversial ruling brings his past corrupt practices to the fore.

• May 19, 2023
Mohammed Yunusa
Mohammed Yunusa

Controversial judge Mohammed Yunusa has nullified the participation of Governor-elect Alex Otti in the March 18 governorship and state House of Assembly elections.

In a ruling that is already being contested by the country’s notable legal minds, Mr Yunusa declared that the Labour Party in Abia State did not submit its party register to INEC 30 days before the primary elections and thereby rendered the nominations of the party’s candidates void.

Human rights lawyer Inibehe Effiong has opined that the judge’s ruling erred in law in a way that could subject the judiciary to public ridicule

“This type of judgement has the potential of exposing the judiciary to avoidable public ridicule,” he tweeted on Friday.

“The judgement of the Federal High Court in Kano cannot stand in law. The issue of submission of a party’s membership register to INEC cannot be the basis for disqualification of candidates.

It cannot be the basis for nullifying primaries across the country.It is also belated,” he added.

Mr Yunusa’s latest controversial ruling brings his past corrupt practices to the fore of the discussion. In 2016, the National Judicial Council (NJC) found him guilty of bribery and other judicial misconduct and recommended that he be forced to retire.

President Muhammadu Buhari declined to ratify the NJC recommendation, putting the issue on hold for five years and forcing the judicial body to reinstate Mr Yunusa.

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