The African Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ACJHR), has raised the alarm that the current multiple litigations being witnessed in relation to the forthcoming Anambra State governorship election are capable of ruining the election already slated for November 6.
As a way of preserving the electoral and judicial processes, the organisation, therefore, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to obey judgments from courts of same jurisdiction in relation to the governorship election.
The director of Operations and Programmes Development of ACJHR, Barrister Chioma Udonsi, made the group’s position known while speaking on the sidelines of an advocacy event held in Abuja on Wednesday.
Barrister Udonsi urged INEC to ignore pressure from political players who want to use judgment from courts of same jurisdiction to reverse names of published candidates instead of heading to a superior court to seek a redress.
She warned that if the commission bow to the pressure and accepts what she described as reckless swaping of candidates’ names even when matters are on appeal, such will lead to judicial anarchy.
While raising concerns over multiple litigations that have hit the governorship race, the ACHJR top official said if caution is not applied, the situation could ruin the preparation for the election.
She added that ACHJR will be leading a team of monitors to closely observe the pre and post election day preparations and ensure due process as well as open and transparent electoral process are maintained.
Barrister Udonsi said: “It is important at this point for ACHJR to raise concerns over the trend we are noticing in the build up to the Anambra State governorship election.
“Our organisation is concerned about the different judgments from courts of coordinate jurisdiction being brandished about by political players in the election.
“We will, therefore, like to sound a note of warning to INEC to be wary of such judgments especially as they concern who the candidates of political parties are.
“The ACHJR will like to advise that parties and INEC should wait for the position of an higher court the Court of Appeal, on the contending issues instead of obeying courts that are on the same level.
“We are warning that bow to the pressure of political gladiators on this matter may ruin the electoral process and history will not be fair to those who are involved in such steps that can disrupt the electoral process.
“Because ACHJR is committed to the sanctity of the electoral process, we shall be leading a team of monitors to closely monitor the Anambra election from the preparation stage till results are released.
“Our intention is to ensure that due process is followed and that the election is credible.”