Plateau State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang, has vehemently dismissed allegations that judges received a $5 million bribe to overturn his election victory as unfounded and defamatory.
These accusations, which surfaced in media reports (not from Yohaig NG), claimed that the former Governor of Plateau State and Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, facilitated the bribe to three justices of the Appeal Court. The justices named were Justices Elfrieda Williams-Dawodu, Akams, and Waziri, allegedly to declare the All Progressives Congress Candidate, Nentawe Yiltwatda, as the winner of the 2023 governorship poll in Plateau State.
The reports, circulated on social media, also suggested that the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, and National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, had met with Lalong after a lawyers’ conference in Abuja, instructing him to deliver the bribe.
Governor Mutfwang, in a statement signed by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Gyang Bere, condemned the publication and distanced himself from the narrative. He described the allegations as a deliberate attempt by his detractors to create discord between him and the judiciary.
Mutfwang called for thorough investigations by security agencies to identify and prosecute those behind the libellous publication.
He emphasized the need for legal consequences to set a precedent against such misconduct. The Governor also dismissed the narrative as fabrications by the opposition party in Plateau State, aimed at tarnishing the image of the PDP Government. He reaffirmed his support for the judiciary and warned those disparaging the justices and respected leaders to cease their destructive activities.
The recent allegations of a $5 million bribe involving judges in the Plateau State governorship election and the subsequent denial by Governor Caleb Mutfwang raise critical questions about the integrity of the electoral process and the judiciary in Nigeria. Such allegations, whether true or false, can have a profound impact on public trust in the judicial system and the overall democratic process.
The swift denial and call for an investigation by Governor Mutfwang demonstrate a commitment to transparency and the rule of law. However, the mere existence of such allegations, regardless of their veracity, underscores the need for greater transparency and accountability in Nigeria’s electoral and judicial systems. It is imperative that such serious accusations are thoroughly investigated and, if found to be baseless, those responsible for spreading false information should be held accountable.
This incident highlights the delicate balance between freedom of speech and the responsibility of the media and individuals in reporting. The media and public figures must exercise caution and verify information before disseminating it, to maintain the integrity of the democratic process and public institutions.
Did You Know?
- Electoral Integrity in Nigeria: The integrity of elections in Nigeria is a critical aspect of its democratic process.
- Judicial Independence: The independence of the judiciary is essential for a fair and just legal system.
- Impact of Allegations on Public Trust: Allegations of corruption, especially involving high-profile figures, can significantly impact public trust in institutions.
- Role of Media in Democracy: The media plays a crucial role in informing the public and holding public figures accountable.
- Transparency in Governance: Transparency and accountability in governance are key to maintaining public confidence in democratic institutions.