Special Assistant on Public Communication to Atiku Abubakar, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, has alleged that former Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike; and Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, were constantly monitoring judges even as the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal winds down its activities.
However, Mr Sulaimon Olanrewaju, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde in a swift reaction last night, described the allegation as a figment of the “writer’s imagination,’’ while Wike’s aide, Mr Kelvin Ebiri, declined comment.
But Shaibu who levelled the allegation in a statement in Abuja yesterday, said it was curious that the duo both travelled to Plateau State to attend a memorial service hosted by the President of the Appeal Court, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, even though they were reportedly not invited.
According to him, the event ordinarily was supposed to be a solemn service, but “our busybody interlopers polluted the event with their shameful appearance.”
Atiku’s aide further alleged that “ Wike had been using dubious means to cosy up to judges and giving them gifts under the guise of welfare.”
He argued that Wike’s latest visit to an event hosted by the Appeal Court President could be another ruse to influence the appellate court where the current tribunal judges were drawn from.
Shaibu noted that the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola, made a Freudian slip a few months ago when he claimed he was happy that Governor Makinde was a member of the renegade governors known as the G5.
He said: “Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State, as the host governor, was invited for the programme but Wike and Makinde were gatecrashers at that event. The reason is not far-fetched. They have continued to cosy up to judges just to impress their paymaster.
“Unfortunately, the CJN, Justice Ariwoola, has also failed to live above suspicion. He was in Rivers State ahead of the election, where he said he was happy that Governor Makinde was a member of G5.
“Then, at the commissioning of the Oyo Governor’s lodge in Abuja on May 25, the CJN once again was the special guest of Governor Makinde.