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News Commentary: Court of Appeal judgements under Justice Monica Dongbam Mensem and the justice not delivered

Written by on January 15, 2024

It is written by our News and Current Affairs Department

Currently ,there is a growing disenchantment and crisis of trust among Nigerians over the kind of judgements being delivered by the Court of Appeal under Justice Monica Dongbam Mensem as President

This widespread dissatisfaction among the citizenry heightened recently when the Supreme court reversed many of the decisions of the appeal court in many states of the federation because of obvious perversion of justice in their decided cases

Some of the states where the people have suffered injustice and incalculable damage visited on them by the Court of Appeal arising especially from the 2023 elections petitions handled by the appellate court include , Kano,Zamfara and Plateau state among others

For the avoidance of doubts ,It was not in dispute who got the highest votes in these states during the 2023 general elections.

But the Court of Appeal under the direction of Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, decided to alter the outcomes in these states in what many believe was a deliberate plot to subvert the will of the people earlier expressed at the poll.

First ,the appeal court under the watch of Justice Monica Dongbam nullified the election of Zamfara State Governor , Dauda Lawal and declared the March 18, 2023 governorship election in the state as inconclusive while ordering a re-run in three local government areas of the state.

In Kano State ,the Court of Appeal sacked the elected governor ,Abba Yusuf on the claim that the ballot papers used by INEC during his election were not stamped, signed and dated as required by law.

But If there is any state that suffered the worst injustice in the hands of the Appeal court,it is Plateau state ,the home state of Justice Monica Dongbam.

Apart from sacking the peoples governor ,Caleb Mutfwang,the court of Appeal equally sacked all the national and state House of Assembly members elected on the platform of the PDP and handed their seats to the APC and other parties against established legal principles claiming that the PDP had no structure .

But as it turned out in all the instances ,the Supreme court over ruled all the unpopular decisions of the appeal court and restored the sacked governors back to their respective positions to the joy of their people

Given the large number of miscarriage of justice in many of the election petitions cases decided by the appeal court ,many have questioned the continued stay in office of Justice Monica Dongbam as president of the appellate court

They recalled that shortly after the elections particularly in Plateau state ,there were allegations that the President of the Court of Appeal who assigned judges to handle the petitions ,had been compromised to deliver judgement in favour of the All Progressives candidates where she is said to have personal interests.

The constant boasting of the APC chieftains in Plateau state that whatever they lost at the polls or at the level of the elections petition tribunals, will be recovered at the Appeal Court because of their connection and control of that section of the Judiciary also lend credence to an alleged compromise

While Justice Dongbam had yet to publicly address the allegations including N2.8 billion bribe collection to pervert the course of justice at the Appeal court ,the rumour has continued to gain momentum .

Although some people who have defended her have pointed out that the President of the Court of Appeal was not herself a member of the Panels that decided the discredited judgments ,political observers believe that It is simply inconceivable that Justices under her watch could have gone to her home state of Plateau to confidently wreak so much political damage without her explicit instruction or connivance

With many of the decided cases of the Appeal court being set aside by the Supreme court ,it is clear that the Appellate court under the leadership of Justice Monica Dongbam, has been brought under disrepute and global ridicule with all charges of judicial corruption being thrown at it.

As has been noted by well meaning Nigerians ,there were obvious errors in many judgments of the appeal court concerning the 2023 elections and therefore, those who delivered the anti-people judgments are unfit for such responsibilities and should not be allowed to continue to desecrate the temple of Nigeria justice system . A stich in time saves nine


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