Not less than 50 senior lawyers in Bauchi State have offered free legal services to defend the governor-elect, Bala Mohammed of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), at the tribunal.
Body of Bauchi Lawyers of Conscience (BOBALAC) made this known in a statement signed by the chief convener, Shipi Rabo, and secretary, Musa Abdullahi, in Bauchi yesterday.
The defeated Bauchi governor, Mohammad Abubakar, had hired for senior advocates of Nigeria (SANs) to challenge the PDP’s victory in the March 26 governorship re-run poll.
Abubakar hinted that his party’s stance differed from his earlier concession of defeat, hence he decided, as “a loyal member of the All Progressives Congress (APC)” to appeal the result.
BOBALAC said the governor’s decision to challenge the election’s outcome after conceding defeat necessitated the free legal services.
It wondered why the governor would pretend as if it was the APC that planned to challenge the outcome of the election at the tribunal when, indeed, he was the one behind the move.
“We wish to observe that Governor Abubakar’s latest move to go to tribunal in respect of the election smacks of doublespeak and (with due respect to him and the APC) insincerity. This is because as we have had occasions to observe, Governor Abubakar was among the first people to call on Wazirin Adamawa, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to concede defeat in the presidential election and take the result in good faith.
“The issue here is that our own Makama Babba (Governor Mohammed) in Bauchi is, for all intents and purposes, not walking the talk. Having initially conceded defeat and congratulated Kauran Bauchi (Bala Mohammed) knowing well that it is the wish of the people, Mr. Abubakar should have stuck to his words. That is how statesmen behave,” the lawyers stated.
Meanwhile, the governor-elect’s spokesman, Dr. Ladan Salihu, has described BOBALAC’s gesture as a reflection of the aggregate will of the people of Bauchi.
Ladan said: “The people have given their mandate to Senator Bala Mohammed to be their governor for the next four years. We respect his right to head for the court. We don’t have skeleton in our cupboard. We are optimistic of victory at the tribunal.
“They (APC) have security, huge resources and all that, but the good people of Bauchi gave us their trust that we could put an end to their administration. We believe in God.”