The Supreme Court has denied reports by the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) that it had handpicked judges to hear the appeal filed by Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the election of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Naija News reports that the CUPP Spokesperson, Ikenga Ugochinyere had accused the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Mohammed Tanko of plotting to tinker with the list of judges of the Supreme Court.
He claimed to have obtained a list of “handpicked” justices in violation of the Supreme Court tradition of selecting seven most senior justices.
“We have intercepted a secret list of a 7- man panel of the Justices of Supreme Court about to be announced by the Chief Justice of Nigeria in a manner that jettisoned the age-long tradition of selecting the members of the panel on the order of seniority.
“To ensure that nothing is left undone, the proposed screening of the nominated Justices of Supreme Court which was hitherto scheduled to take place on October 2019 was brought forward and concluded yesterday in Gestapo manner and ready to be sent to the Senate for immediate confirmation,” Ugochinyere alleged.
Reacting in a statement on Monday by its Director, Press and Information, Dr. Festus Akande, the Supreme Court stated that it had yet to constitute the panel that would hear the appeal.
It said the public would be notified when the panel was constituted.
The apex court described the report as blatant falsehood, misinformation and malicious rumour being generously peddled by the CUPP through its spokesman.
“The constitution of any panel to sit on a matter in the court is the sole prerogative of the Supreme Court and it is never an issue for the court to debate on the television or pages of newspapers.
“We are not a political party or social club and should never be dragged into any form of baseless pedestrian discussions that will drive valid reasoning aground.
“Enough of this orchestrated falsehood and campaign of calumny,” the Supreme Court said.
The apex court stated that it was constitutionally empowered to serve the interest of the generality of the Nigerian masses and not select individuals or groups with inordinate ambition.
“As soon as the Presidential Appeal Panel is constituted, the public will be duly informed as the Supreme Court is not a secret society. Let us always observe caution when disseminating information to the public,” the Supreme Court added.