Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, is a civil rights advocacy group that has expressed concerns about the integrity of the Plateau State judiciary.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, told reporters in Abuja on Sunday that the recent Plateau events have raised “a shadow of doubt” and mistrust regarding the independence of the state’s judiciary.
He questioned the judiciary’s neutrality and its function in guaranteeing free and fair elections in Nigeria.
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Onwubiko conveyed grave concerns on what he perceived to be a concerted attempt to render contradictory rulings, namely endorsing the All Progressives Congress (APC) over the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
“These concerns go beyond post-election matters and extend to pre-election cases, which, according to established legal precedent, should not be revisited at the appellate level” he stated.
He added: “In some instances where the APC came in second, PDP candidates were removed, and the certificate of return was given to the APC, while in other cases where the APC came in third or lower, the courts ordered a rerun. HURIWA considers this inconsistency alarming and believes it raises suspicions of bias.
“Specifically, in the case of Plateau North Senatorial District won by Sen. Simon Mwadkwon of the PDP and the APC candidate coming in third, 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 conclusion, HURIWA reaffirmed its commitment to the rule of law, democracy, and justice. The organization pledged to monitor developments in Plateau State and across the nation to ensure that the rights of the people are upheld.
HURIWA called on all stakeholders, including the judiciary, political parties, and the public, to work together to protect and uphold the values that define Nigeria as a nation.