As Enugu electorates await the verdict of the Governorship/State Assembly Election Petitions tribunal, an Enugu based public affairs analyst, Simon Edeh has called on the three panels handling various election Petitions in the state to dispense Justice and not Judgment.
Speaking to journalists in Enugu on Friday, Edeh said the judges stand at a historical crossroad and their actions and inactions will have a great impact on the state.
According to him, Ndi Enugu expect that the judges will demonstrate total commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring justice for all.
“In a number of cases delivered so far, the decisions and judgments of these judges especially in panel one under Justice A.M Abubakar fly in the face of logic, fact or commonsense” he argued.
Edeh urged the judges in each of the panel to uphold their integrity and defend the dignity of the constitution in their decisions.
“The nine judges in the three panels of the Tribunal must know that the people are watching and justice must not only be done, but seen to have been done in the matters before them.”
“Few days ago, the media was agog with the allegation of some judges playing to the gallery of the rulling party in the state. Recall that three Labour Party House of Reps members and about two House of Assembly lawmakers were sacked on grounds that should be a pre-election matter. Reversing the Lawmakers’ victories in matters that have been settled by Superior Court, ridicules the integrity and avowed impartiality of the Nigeria Judiciary, thereby exposing the institution to attacks.
“It is more confusing when diverse or conflicting judgments are given on the same matter by the Tribunal.
In plethora of cases, Supreme Court have held that a tribunal lacks jurisdiction to intervene in the internal affairs of a political party.”
“The issue of nomination of candidates as well as membership are internal affairs of the party beyond the jurisdiction of courts. It is only a political party that can determine who it’s members are and who their flag bearer for an election should be”
“The act of using money to pervert and influence the tribunal judges by desperate and deep-pocket politicians in Enugu state has been on the news.”
“The judges in Enugu Tribunal must expunge all forms of public doubt and suspicion of trading justice in our courts.”
“While we expect the application of relevant laws to same by the judges of the Enugu Tribunal, I call on them to uphold their integrity to defend the dignity of our constitution in all their decisions. That is what we will accept. Anything other than this will amount to an installment by the judiciary” he said