An All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain in Kano, Illyasu Kwankwaso, has urged politicians to desist from criticising the judiciary over election-related judgments, claiming that it is undermining the development and strengthening of democracy in the country.
Dr. Kwankwaso, who served as commissioner for Community and rural development in former governors Ibrahim Shekarau’s and Abdullahi Umar Ganduje’s administrations, respectively, said that judges should be respected as interpreters of the law and an integral part of the system.
He conceded that judges may not always be 100% right in their judgments. Still, he said that men of the Bar and the Bench should not be discredited and that politicians should follow all legal procedures to get justice, lest the reputation of the Nigerian judiciary be tarnished in front of the world.
Naija News reports that the APC chieftain is a cousin to the Grand Commander of the Kwankwasiyya Movement and National Leader of the New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP), Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso.
In a statement he signed and made available to newsmen in Kano on Monday, Kwankwaso reiterated his confidence in the judiciary, even though he recently lost his bid to be at the Lower Chamber of the National Assembly, at the Appeal Court, after winning at the Tribunal.
The statement added: “For democracy to grow, enhance judiciary, do not castigate judiciary for loosing at the courts. Accept results and judgements in good faith. It would not be good for us politicians to see elections and political positions as a do-or-die affair.e
“It is normal in politics all over the world that whenever there is a competition, a winner and loser must emerge. This was a bit alien to us in Nigeria because in elections, after losing, we resort to blaming either the opponents, or we begin to cast aspersions on the judiciary, or the electoral umpire, blaming them for our failures.
“This kind of impression has to be changed. Take for instance, in the past, the APC had lost many elections, but the party had accepted the outcome of the elections and court judgements in good faith.
”I can recall when the Court removed the then Governor of Zamfara state and all the elected lawmakers and declared the Peoples Democratic Parry (PDP) as the winner of the election. It was an APC Governor, but the heavens did not fall. The APC accepted the court verdict in good faith. That is the beauty of democracy.”
He further stated that “while in 2019 as a ruling party, the court prevented APC from having a candidate in Rivers election. Most Nigerians saw that as a sound ruling. The judiciary was not corrupt, and democracy was not in danger!
“APC, as the ruling party, won the governorship election in Bayelsa but was removed by the judiciary some hours before the swearing-in. To those people, the judgement was sound. Our judiciary was not corrupt, and democracy was not in danger!
“Today, our courts are ‘corrupt’, democracy is in ‘danger’ and we are heading to a one-party system because the same court is addressing election cases dispassionately as it did in all the above cases cited! Once it is against APC like in the Osun case, our judiciary is doing a good job, not corrupt and democracy is not in danger!
“These same elements now want us to go learn democracy from Liberia, which is not up to the population of Abia state because an incumbent lost an election.”
Naija News understands that Kwankwaso was reacting to the series of protests over the Kano gubernatorial election. The politician, however, called on Nigerians to be very mindful of some ‘activists’ and their unpatriotic intentions as they are not objective in their analysis of issues.