HURIWA raises concerns over judicial integrity in Plateau

HURIWA raises concerns over judicial integrity in Plateau
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has expressed serious concern, drawing attention to recent occurrences in Plateau State that have raised questions about the independence of the state's legal system.

The organization questioned the judiciary's neutrality and its function in guaranteeing free and fair elections in Nigeria.

Speaking to the media, HURIWA voiced concerns about what seems to be a coordinated attempt to render contradictory rulings, with a particular bias toward the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People's Democratic Party (PDP) in particular.

Emmanuel Onwubiko, the group's national coordinator, stated that these worries extend beyond post-election issues and include pre-election instances as well, which should not be reviewed at the appellate level based on established legal precedent.

He states that one of the main concerns brought forth by HURIWA is the Plateau State Appeal Courts' inconsistent rulings. "Whereas the APC placed second in some circumstances, PDP candidates were removed and the APC received the certificate of return; in other situations, where the APC placed third or below, the judges ordered a rerun.

According to HURIWA, this discrepancy is concerning and suggests possible prejudice.

"Specifically, the Panel, in its judgment in Court of Appeal No. CA/J/EP/PL/SEN/12/2023 delivered on Sunday, October, 2023, curiously annulled the PDP's victory and ordered INEC to conduct a rerun election among all the parties in the Plateau North Senatorial District, which was won by Sen. Simon Mwadkwon of the PDP and the APC candidate coming in third.

In the case of the PDP's Hon. Musa Agar, who won the Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency, in which the APC candidate also placed third, the Panel, in its ruling in Court of Appeal No. CA/J/EP/PL/HR/14/2023, delivered on Friday, October 20, 2023, nullified the PDP's victory and directed a rerun that excluded the PDP.

"The Appeal Court Justices in Court of Appeal No. CA/J/EP/PL/HR/18/2023 annulled the PDP candidate's victory and declared the APC candidate the clear winner. They also ordered that the Certificate of Return awarded to the PDP candidate be withdrawn and a new Certificate of Return issued to the APC candidate in the third Appeal Case of Shendam/Quaan-Pan/Mikang Federal Constituency, which was won by Hon. Isaac Kwallu of the PDP with John Dafwan of the APC as runner-up.

HURIWA stated that pre-election matters were also subject to judicial review, which resulted in the PDP's 2023 election victories being overturned. She emphasized that the Court of Appeal did not render decisions based on the law and the facts as required by law, and that this deviation from accepted legal norms and principles raises questions about the independence of the judiciary.

Moreover, accusations directed on Hon. Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, the President of the Court of Appeal, have intensified the examination. The organization continued, "Speculations regarding her ethnic background and perceived connections to the Plateau State APC leader are concerning, even though there is no concrete evidence of her involvement in any impropriety."

HURIWA demanded an immediate end to what she saw as the APC's apparent systematic manipulation of the court system in Plateau State.

The organization listed a number of crucial steps to solve these issues, such as highlighting judicial independence, requiring openness and responsibility within the court, and reviewing and reevaluating recent rulings that seem to deviate from accepted legal precedents.

HURIWA emphasized how crucial it is for the judiciary to uphold the values of justice, fairness, and impartiality in order to win back the public's trust. They also emphasized how important it is to educate the people about the judiciary's role and operations in order to improve awareness of the role that the court plays in Nigeria's democracy.

The group restated its dedication to justice, democracy, and the rule of law. The group promised to keep an eye on events in Plateau State and the country as a whole to make sure that people's rights are respected.

It also urged on all stakeholders, including the courts, political parties, and the public, to work together to safeguard and uphold the principles that constitute Nigeria as a nation

Start a discussion

Previous Post Next Post

نموذج الاتصال