Group Criticizes Appeal Court President Over Election Cases Delay

An human rights group, Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) has flayed the President, Court of Appeal, Justice Umar Abdullahi, over the delay in the handling of election petition appeal cases.

The chairman of the group, Comrade Mashood Erubami said in Ibadan, Oyo State Capital that the delay in the hearing of the election petition –related cases might jeopardize the nation’s democracy, if what he called such anomalies is not urgently corrected.

The activist challenged the Court of Appeal to clear the air on what he termed the seeming deliberate delay being experience in general adjudication process on the cases referred to it.

Erubami, who is a former president, Campaign for Democracy (CD) accused the Appeal Court of engaging in selective adjudication of cases by given priority attention to Edo State governorship petition ahead of those of Oyo and Ogun State that had been decided earlier by tribunal.

“If our organization will not be mistaken, the Court of Appeal has engaged in selective adjudication of cases by given priority attention to the Edo governorship petition ahead of those of Oyo and Ogun States that were first disposed off at the lower tribunals. This is unfortunate because we have rushed to believe that we will continue to have the type of judicial activism started by the Retired Chief Judge, Justice Alfa Belgore at all levels of judicial process.

“Events today have proved us wrong and hence we have our doubt that the judiciary is still the last hope of common man,” Erubami said.

He said it was not just politicians that are seeking justice, but Nigerians that have become victims of unlawful and unfair elections that imposed unrepresentative and illegitimate leadership on the polity.

The TMG Chairman, who called for the immediate resignation of the chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said: “Today, all the ordered re-run elections by the tribunals have been revalidated to vindicate INEC that the elections it conducted were free and fair in the first instance. This has made the chairman of INEC, Prof. Maurice Iwu to continue to beat his chest that his INEC was the best in the world”.

The TMG boss appealed to the appellate court to retrace its steps and correct the wrong impression.

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