Asset declaration: CSO hails judgement as Appeal Court clears INEC boss, Yakubu

The Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) has hailed the Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri for throwing out an appeal filed against the judgment of the Federal High Court which declared that the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, did not breach the Code of Conduct Bureau assets declaration form.

In a unanimous judgment delivered by the the Presiding Justice, Hon. Justice Nosakhare Pemu, the appellate court held that the appellant, Prince Njoku who was also the Plaintiff at the Federal High Court in Umuahia did not have the locus standi to initiate the case and therefore decided all three issues raised by the appellant in favour of the respondents.

The Court thereafter proceeded to restrain the Code of Conduct Bureau, the Nigerian Police Force, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Directorate of the State Security Service (DSS) and all other security agencies from investigating or prosecution Prof. Mahmood Yakubu on the basis of the allegations of the appellant.

Reacting to the judgment through statement made available to newsmen Thursday in Abuja, Executive Director of the Centre for Transparency Advocacy, Ms. Faith Nwadishi, said from the judgment, it was clear that the anti-BVAS agents have been at work since the Federal High Court judgment was given March 2021.

Nwadishi, while commending the Justices of the Court of Appeal, urged all Courts to be circumspect in giving any verdict on any case before them which has capacity to truncate Nigeria’s march towards a free, fair, credible and acceptable 2023 general election.

CTA chief said: “Nigerians are ready to protect the country’s democratic journey with everything within our legitimate resources including our blood and the BVAS has proved to be the greatest nightmare to election riggers and we must protect it.”