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Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Coalition of rights groups condemns Abia appeal decision

Ikpeazu and Otti
UMUAHIA—COALITION for Civil Societies for Credible Election, CCSCE, has condemned what it called “the spate of controversial, incoherent and varying judgments coming from the Court of Appeal,” noting that the trend was “worrisome and disturbing.”
The coalition called on the relevant judiciary authorities to ensure that the trend was stopped to restore the integrity of the nation’s judiciary.

Briefing journalists, yesterday, in Umuahia on the Appeal Court judgment on the 2015 Abia governorship election, the coordinator of the group, Onuoha Oliver, said it would be unfortunate if such was allowed to stand as it could create voters’ apathy and cynicism.

The group said that it was their duty as civil society groups to draw the attention of discerning members of the society and the authorities of the adverse consequences of the development that could mar the development of a proper democratic culture.

According to Oliver, the Court of Appeal judgment disenfranchising Obingwa, Isiala Ngwa North and Osisioma Local Government Areas was “very unfair, grossly perverse and ought not to be allowed to stand.”

If allowed, he pointed out, it would confer an undue power on a candidate in any election to invite any court to cancel elections in areas where he is not comfortable or has no support.

According to him, the Appeal Court judgment even denied Governor Okezie Ikpeazu the right to vote for himself as he called on the judiciary to make the votes of Obingwa, Osisioma and Isiala Ngwa already cast to count in the determination of who governs them in Abia State.

The group commended the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed for expressing dissatisfaction with the plethora of conflicting judgments from the various divisions of the Court of Appeal.

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