As citizens of Imo state decry the verdict of the Supreme Court on the 2019 governorship election, Citizens Centre For Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESOR) has joined its voice to condemn the miscarriage of justice done to Imo citizens.
In a release issued to newsmen in Owerri, Imo State capital, the Executive Director of CCIDESOR, Ogechi Ikeh noted that although the supreme court is yet to release details of how they came about their judgement of 14th January, 2020 on the case between Hon. Emeka Ihedioha of PDP and Senator Hope Uzodinma of APC, adding however that the facts in the public domain show that they are unlikely to convince majority of Nigerians that such judgement satisfies the basic qualities of Justice and good conscience.
“It is a grave omen that the supreme court’s judgement has made over 6 million Imo state citizens and residents to commence year 2020 with unimaginable and undeserving turbulence”.
“Although Supreme court is the final court, it is only a final court of Justice not injustice. Therefore, in releasing the details of their judgement, if they agree with the mathematical disagreement between total accredited voters and the supreme court’s new total votes cast, CCIDESOR joins Nigerians in calling for the review of that judgement. CCIDESOR also calls on the supreme court to keep pride away, put the nation first and ensure that justice is done by correcting any miscarriage of justice observed. After all, they are not infallible. We need the supreme court to retain the trust and hope of citizens in its ability to dispense justice no matter the circumstance. If the trust and hope of citizens on justice from supreme court are shattered, Nigeria will take a long time to recover if she will ever recover”.
“The recent notorious trend of courts disregarding or not thoroughly verifying the position, submissions and testimonies of INEC in an INEC conducted election, before taking decision, in some relying on technicalities is also another sad sour point of our democracy and election process. It is gravely ignominious that the unprecedented election fraud in Imo west and Imo East senatorial election were endorsed by court judgements even when INEC made valid explanations on why it was infamous to reward election fraud with certificate of return. CCIDESOR insists that it is the constitutional rights of citizens to elect their leaders and not the supreme court. The role of judiciary is not to substitute citizen’s choice with their own choice. This new dimension will totally destroy our dear nation, Nigeria. While CCIDESOR calls for total review of the judgement of supreme court, It has become expedient that the judiciary should apply restrain from this ugly trend”.
“No matter what post judgement decision that will be taken by supreme court, its integrity will be saved if they expose as a matter of justice responsibility, every detail of the 388 polling units from where the figures used to upturn the election result came. Silence on any critical issue raised on the judgement will do more harm than good to the trust Nigerians are expected to have on the supreme court”.
“CCIDESOR notes that Supreme Court would have completely endangered the fundamental human rights of the citizens to freely come out to cast their votes if adequate explanation of the judgement is not received. CCIDESOR is worried that the political apathy which INEC addressed during the last election has been destroyed by this judgement. CCIDESOR submit that until INEC becomes the final arbiter in election and not the court our democracy will continue to suffer. If by mistake, the supreme court sentences our democracy to death, Nigerians should get the supreme court to reverse itself than to take our innocent democracy to the gallows”.
“CCIDESOR notes that the reckless behaviour of Imo politicians and the ugly foundation which they led during the party primaries paved way for most of the subsequent election atrocities committed during the general election in Imo state. Again, when one looks through the prism of cross-carpeting and counter cross carpeting in the last primary election one wonders the society the politicians are building. Where lies our collective resolve of building our democracy?
“CCIDESOR also calls on the NGOs, CSOs, FBOs, Media and relevant stakeholders to open wider their watchdog aperture on Imo State, especially during the re-run election taking place in Imo State on the 25th January, 2020 in some polling units. While we are concerned by the Supreme Court judgement, as law abiding Civil Society Organization, we are ready to pledge our watchdog role in ensuring accountability, transparency and citizens’ participation in the governance of our dear Imo State. There is need to push forward the tenets of democracy. We also call on all NGOs to pay special attention to Imo State”.
“Imo is our dear state because we have no other state. We must put our ideas together to further the ideals of governance. CCIDESOR is a non partisan organization but takes its position from the philosophy which states that injustice meted out to any citizen is injustice meted to all”.