The Supreme Court of Nigeria, on Monday, denied allegations levelled against it by the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) of a plan to manipulate selection of justices for the Presidential Election Appeal Panel.
The apex court dismissed the allegations in a statement issued on it behalf by its Director of Press and Information, Festus Akande, in Abuja.
The Supreme Court described the allegations as a campaign of calumny, a blatant falsehood, misinformation and a malicious rumour.
The court stated, ‘`We wish to state clearly that CUPP is not and can never constitute itself into an agency of the Nigerian judiciary or assume the role of an alternate Supreme Court of Nigeria.
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“Let it be known that the Supreme Court is not an assemblage of individuals with no defined purpose, vision and modus operandi. Our operations are strictly guided by the constitution and extant laws.
‘`We are not an appendage of any individual or group of people, and we don’t pander to the dictates of anybody or association.”
The statement further disclosed that the Supreme Court, and by extension, the judiciary, was an independent arm of government that could never be intimidated or dictated to by anybody.
“We should be mindful of our utterances to avoid inflicting a devastating harm on the nation.
This exhibition of unbridled utterances and prevarication will only endanger the progress and cohesiveness of our country.’’
The apex court said it had entertained presidential election appeals over the decades but the unnecessary hysteria and superlative drama being woven around this particular one calls for caution and moderation.
“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.’’
It will be recalled that the spokesman of CUPP, Ikenga Ugochinyere, while addressing newsmen on October 10, alleged that “plans were underway to manipulate the panel of Supreme Court justices to decide the appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar”.