Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has faulted the Enugu State Governorship Petition Election Tribunal ruling, saying it may erode tenets of accountability in the state and the nation at large.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said it was pertinent that all political holders be held accountable, adding that undermining the credibility of Nigeria’s electoral process, damages the trust of the Nigerian people in their government institutions.
He said, “It sets a dangerous precedent, eroding the foundations of democracy and accountability. The implications of this undermines the credibility of Nigeria’s electoral process and damages the trust of the Nigerian people in their government institutions.
“We endorse the decision of the Labour Party to appeal the case immediately in light of the ruling. However, we call on the appellate courts to correct this grave injustice and uphold the principles of fairness, transparency, and integrity in Nigeria’s elections, with the belief that the citizens of Enugu State and Nigeria as a whole deserve nothing less than a fair, just, and credible electoral process that reflects the true will of the people.
“Furthermore, the decision of the Tribunal has ominous implications for the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, itself. If this judgment is upheld by the Appeal Court or Supreme Court, it effectively undermines the significance of the NYSC certificate, suggesting that anyone can simply present any certificate without consequences since in the first place, it bears no qualifying relevance as interpreted or argued by this panel of judges in the Enugu gubernatorial election petition tribunal. It puts into question the very relevance of the NYSC institution in Nigeria”.
To this end, HURIWA called for urgent reforms in Nigeria’s electoral and judicial systems, insisting that accountability and the rule of law must prevail over political expediency and that the tribunal’s verdict should serve as a rallying cry for a better, fairer, and more just Nigeria.