A coalition of civil society groups and concerned Nigerians, on Sunday, claimed the Supreme Court docket erred drastically, by usurping the obligations of the Unbiased National Electoral Fee (INEC) and outrightly declared Senator Hope Uzodinma as governor of Imo point out.
A panel of Supreme Court docket Judges, led by the Main Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Muhammad Tanko, had on Tuesday, 14th January, 2020, nullified the election of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples’ Democratic Social gathering (PDP) and returned Uzodinma of the All Progressive Congress (APC), who came 4th in the March 9, 2019 governorship election in Imo.
But the coalition, less than the aegis of ‘Alliance for the Preservation of Democracy’, explained the judgement as “a judicial recklessness”, for the apex court, to have overlooked and abandoned the findings of both of those the tribunal and courtroom of appeal, for outright declaration of a candidate devoid of recourse to the electoral umpire which carried out the election in the to start with position.
The group said, “admitting uncertified effects from 388 polling units is dubious, questionable, and amounting to judicial recklessness”, alluding that, by the allocation of votes to Uzodinma at the apex courtroom, the complete legitimate votes have overshot the total quantity of accredited voters for the reported election.
“Does that suggest only Uzodinma garnered votes from the 388 polling units? You suggest the deposed Governor or any other applicant did not history any vote in individuals regions?”, requested the team.
Mr. Igho Akeregha, President, Civil Liberties Group (CLO) Barr. Ugochukwu Ezekiel, Co-founder Center In opposition to Brutality and for the Basic safety of Journalist in Africa (CABSOJA) Mr. Lemmy Ughegbe, of ‘Make A Difference Initiative (MAD)’ and Ibiang Livinus, Vice Chairman, Product Leadership Foundation (MLF), who spoke on behalf of the group, identified as on Nigerians, specially the media to rise in defence of the judiciary, to conserve it from “self-destruct”.
They said, “the Judges and judicial staff members have been underneath rigorous strain given that the commencing of this routine, when the companies of point out clamped down on some Judges. The elimination of the former CJN, Walter Onnonghe also demonstrates that this regime was heading to compromise the judiciary. We need to, thus, stand in defense of the judiciary”.
“Today, judgments are far more political than judicial. Judges are dominated by worry of what could befall them if they act opposite to the famed ‘body language’ of these that wield govt powers. It is in this sense that we are involved. We obstacle all Nigerians to occur jointly and seek out for methods to save the judiciary from self-destruct.
“We are not unmindful that proper from the instant safety operatives, in Gestapo way, laid siege to the residences of judges and thereafter the grave assault in the elimination of the Justice Walter Onnoghen, judges throughout the region are in wonderful peril, for that reason want to pander to some passions. The purpose is simply because some of them are mired in perform unbecoming of judicial officers, thus, prone to blackmail by agents of Condition.
“It is essential that people who are presently compromised should really seek out for penance by way of the NJC or arrive general public so as to have the ethical courage to produce judgments not only according to the law but their conscience.
“Furthermore, it is about time that Nigerians stand in defence of the judiciary as it serves as the past bastion of protection, decency and guardian of the rule of law. For much too lengthy have Nigerians shirked their responsibility of rallying guiding a important arm of federal government that desires to be shielded from the vagaries of the other two arms. If we permit the judiciary and judicial officers to continual be muddied and bullied, then we should really all count ourselves lost”, the group extra.
On the way ahead, the coalition explained the court docket has the potential to revert alone, urging worried political get-togethers to comply with ideal authorized routes and seek out a lot more clarifications on the controversial judgement.
Supreme Court is envisioned to supply judgements on appeals from Kano, Bauchi, Benue, Sokoto and Plateau’s governorship elections, this 7 days.
The coalition claimed it expected the Apex Courtroom to “stand on company footing and not be swayed by any sentiment other than justice for the typical good”, as it settles down to produce judgements on pending governorship appeals.