The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has raised a fresh alarm over what it described as a plot to tinker with the list of most senior justices of the Supreme Court to sit on the appeal in the presidential election petition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
Spokesman for the coalition and National Chairman of the Action Peoples Party, Mr Ikenga Ugochinyere, made the allegation at a news conference on Thursday in Abuja.
“We have it on good authority that the All Progressives Congress (APC) led government has been mounting undue pressure on the Chief Justice of the Federation and, indeed, the entire court to accept an appeal panel and jettison the age-long tradition of the court of selecting the most senior justices of the Supreme Court to sit on the panel,” he told reporters.
He alleged that the CUPP was in possession of a list of handpicked justices of the Supreme Court who would sit on the appeal.
According to the coalition’s spokesman, this is in clear violation of the tradition of selecting seven most senior justices based on seniority.
He also claimed that from 1979 to 2011, the tradition of the apex court was to appoint the seven most senior justices as members of a presidential election appeal.
Ugochinyere insisted that the tradition must be maintained in the interest of justice and fair play.
He said, “The disquiet caused by the APC in the Supreme Court now is a clear desecration of the highest temple of justice in the land. The opposition and most Nigerians will not accept a handpicked panel.
“The opposition wants this age-long tradition of compositing presidential election dispute panel in order of seniority maintained because we do not trust the altering of the seniority list.”