The leading civil Rights advocacy group – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has expressed disappointment with the lackadaisical and pedestrian approach the supreme court of Nigeria handled the election petition by ex-vice president Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) against the incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
HURIWA stated that the judgment is rather a harsh judgment on the integrity of the nation’s judicial system because rather than meticulously resolve the knotty issues thrown up by the thoroughly manipulated 2019 presidential poll, the apex court has opened new yet to be experimented areas of organized mistrust and lack of integrity of the current status quo at the Nigerian judicial system.
“The stain caused by the aloofness; substantial disconnect with electoral realities of our times and tardiness in the handling of this historic petition by the current set up at the supreme court of Nigeria has only asked political office seekers to fight to the finish during polls just as henceforth election would become contestation for power by all means possible because there would be no light at the end of the judicial tunnel should losers of election with justifiable reasons to seek judicial intervention head to the Nigerian convoluted and compromised court system. The import of this miscarriage of justice by the supreme court is that elections henceforth in Nigeria would be for the survival of the fittest since illegal exercise of disproportionate might has been ruled right.”
In a statement, HURIWA through the national coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko has called on all lovers of Nigeria to rally round to rescue the judiciary from the oppressive hold of reactionary elements railroaded into official positions in the hierarchies through brute force and executive manipulations. HURIWA said the judicial system now lacks integrity and courage and therefore would be litigants would opt for the use of self-help measures such as violence to seek for some form of redress.
HURIWA said: ” We are rudely shocked and disappointed that the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammadu, is which led the seven-man panel which to heard the appeals in respect of the case instituted by the People’s Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to challenge the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari at the February 23, 2019 poll tragically ended up not resolving even a single of those claims filed by the aggrieved.”
“HURIWA believes that Justice Muhammad and other six members of the panel including Justices Bode Rhodes-Vivour, Kayode Ariwoola, John Okoro, Amiru Sanusi, Ejembi Eko and Uwani Abba-Ajji have failed to dispense justice in line with global best practices and ended up creating further problems which include the total loss of faith in the judiciary because what it shows is that there is no integrity or independence in the nation’s judicial system”
“Like most lovers of constitutional democracy, HURIWA is well aware that the tribunal’s judgment which Atiku and his party are dissatisfied with had dismissed their petition challenging the outcome of the February 23, 2019 poll even as subsequently, the petitioners on September 23, 2019, filed 66 grounds of appeal before the Supreme Court to challenge the judgment of the tribunal in which they prayed the Supreme Court to nullify Buhari’s victory and either order that Atiku be declared as the valid winner of the poll or order the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct a fresh presidential election. Sadly, the entire exercise has become an exercise in futility and has thrown up the clear evidence of a nation’s judiciary that is hijacked by reactionary elements. The verdict which simply dismissed the petition for lacking merit is laughable and will on its own be treated as mere tissues of morally depraved drama unworthy of any historical references and veneration. Today is tragic and sad for real democracy. “