Nigerian Concord Newspaper
Defenders of Democracy, DoD has charged the governor of Benue state, Father Hyacinth Alia to come clean on a recently leaked audio where one of his closest aides, Moses Terunenge boasted of his influence to compromise the Judiciary in favour of the All Progressive Congress.
The group made this charge in a press statement signed and issued to journalists today by its president, Amos Uchiv.
Recall that the audio which leaked yesterday had Ternenge boating of his high influence on the Nigerian Judiciary and how he plans to compromise the Tribunal in the ongoing case between the APC and other political parties in Benue and Nigeria as a whole.
The statement rieads:
The attention of uiuDefenderso of Democracy (DoD) has been drawn to a leaked audio recording making the rounds in the media of a close Aide of Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue State by name Moses Ternenge boasting before a group of persons about his power and influence to control and fix decisions of courts in Nigeria.
DoD is aware that Mr. Ternenge who is always close by the side of Governor Alia at both public functions and even in private, is said to function in a number of roles around the innermost circle of the governor, and in the leaked audio he can be heard bragging of his access to the topmost levels of the judiciary.
Bragging about his closeness to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, he says, “Do you know what we did to make Alia win the governorship election? Go all the way to the Supreme Court, no one can defeat Governor Alia in court. Do you know the caliber of people I sit and drink with in Abuja? I sit with the Chief Judge (sic) (Justice) of Nigeria, we drink tea and play together. So is it an ordinary local court case here in Benue that we will lose? This is a court case in my state where I am in charge. The Chief Judge of the state is under me.”
On the local government councils case against Governor Alia and his government to safeguard their tenures of office, the Alia Aide angrily blasts, “That foolish man (Presiding Judge of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) in Makurdi) who has been giving judgments against us, I told the stupid man to go and ask his President in Abuja, Justice Kanyip, and he will tell him that I am the one who bailed him out of a major problem in Rivers State, when there was a crisis arising from a judgment against a certain national union which threatened his position. I was the one who saved him, and when the Makurdi Division Presiding Judge got to know that I was the one who saved his President from that crisis in Rivers State, he was shocked, and promised to throw out the case brought before him by the council chairmen in Benue. But because I was away, he gave the judgment the way he did. I was very angry and was going to call the President of the NICN to remind him of how I had saved him, and to let him know that if he joked with any matter in Benue concerning the government, I will also expose him on what transpired in Rivers State. But I was annoyed by certain persons around the Governor and left for Abuja, and that was when the judgment was given.”
As a group with the sustenance and health of democracy at the heart of its mission, DoD sees a need for Governor Alia to come clean on the claims made by this aide of his in the leaked audio recording.
Is the governor in the know of anything which was done unlawfully by Mr. Moses Ternenge to make him governor?
Is Governor Alia aware of the background and activities of Mr. Ternenge and does he approve of them?
In the face of this leak of the activities of the aide, is the governor going to keep him around him?
DoD demands urgent answers from Governor Alia on this matter as it borders on the integrity of the judiciary which is at the heart of the quest for the continued growth and sustenance of democracy in Nigeria.