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Nigeria

In section 36 sub-section (1) of the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria (As Amended), the authors of our constitution considered the security of our Tribunals hence they held that our Tribunals should be constituted in such a manner as to secure its independence and impartiality.

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The judiciary is generally described as the last hope of the common man. Of the three arms of government, where the executive fails, where the legislature fails, the judiciary must not fail because where there is a complete failure of all three arms of government, then there is Anarchy; a condition that ultimately tears the fabric of sovereignty of any nation.

The crime of betraying one?s country, especially by attempting to kill the sovereignty of a nation is known as Treason. Election petition Tribunals where not set up to address injustice against a candidate or a political party only. The Tribunals where conceived by our constitution to mainly address the in justice meted out to the people of a Local Government Area, a Constituency, a State or Country.

The panel of Judges sitting at our tribunals must be reminded of this. They must be reminded that where the people lose confidence in the independence and impartiality of the Election Petition Tribunals, then come next elections there is a likelihood of citizens of states, constituencies, to resort to self help in actualizing their right to choose their representatives, governors and even presidents rather than wait to depend on any partial and compromised election petition tribunals to right wrongs done to them during elections.

From the experience, such as that gathered at the Akwa Ibom State National and State Elections Petition Tribunal (PANEL 1) sitting at Kubwa, they know they would be treated as Aliens, Strangers in the temple of Justice. An Election Petition Panel which presides over White and calls it Black as described by African China, a famous Nigerian Singer, in his hit single ?Mr. President? the people will no longer hope. A panel where flimsy technicalities are used at the slightest excuse to Strike out petitions.

A panel where only the Respondents speak the language of the Tribunal, the language of compromise. A Tribunal Panel where rulings and judgments are given in the language understood only by Hon. Justice Adedayo Oyebanji, Senator Godswill Akpabio and their accomplice(s) and not as prescribed by law. All others who come to this tribunal are strangers, alien to this language.

The Hon. Justice Adedayo Oyebanji led panel clearly says to the Akwa Ibom people in particular and Nigeria in general ?Do Not Expect Justice?. This panel lays a solid foundation for Anarchy which when left unchecked can tamper with the sovereignty of this nation. We therefore submit that the Akwa Ibom State National And State Election Petition Tribunal(Panel 1) sitting at The Customary Court Kubwa, its principal actors, patrons and players of this panel must be immediately investigated by President Muhamadu Buhari and where found guilty be charged for Treason.

The Petitioners before this obviously compromised Election Petition Tribunal, their supporters and indeed well meaning Nigerians never came seeking preferential treatment or any form of preference at our Tribunals, but they came seeking equality of every citizen before the law as promised to them many years back by the Constitution Of The Federal Republic of Nigeria. Despite the snatching of ballot boxes at the polls, they came! Despite the maiming and gush of blood, they came!! Despite the killing of many of their candidates and supporters before, during and after the elections in Akwa Ibom State they came to the Election Petition Tribunal!!! Oh what enormous Faith they must have had in the promise of fair hearing as ?guaranteed? by section 36 of the Constitution of The Federal Republic of Nigeria. When a people demand change they demand progress. The air is thick with doubt as to the impartiality and independence of this panel from the uncommon stains of Senator Godswill Akpabio. Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio and his supporters have boasted that the Hon. Justice Adedayo Oyebanji led Tribunal will treat all petitioners as STRANGERS by striking out, delivering rulings and judgments commensurate what he paid for.

A stranger can be defined as a person who does not know, or is not known in a particular place or community. A stranger is also a person entirely unaccustomed to a feeling, experience or situation. We have all been strangers to a place or a situation at one point or the other in the journey of life. In Barack Obama?s speech on Immigration reforms, we are admonished not to oppress a stranger. ??Scripture tells us, we shall not oppress a stranger for we know the heart of a stranger. We were strangers once, too?? Barack Obama said.

President Muhamadu Buhari knows exactly how it feels to be treated like a stranger by a compromised and partial Elections Petition Tribunal, so much so that in 2011 when he cried openly many believed he cried in anticipation of getting robbed of his election victory yet again at the Election Petition Tribunal.

Hence, the strangers at the Election Petition Tribunal sitting at the Customary Courts Kubwa all cry to you Mr. President. President Muhamadu Buhari?. you know the heart of a stranger standing before a partial and compromised Election Petition Tribunal, for you where once treated like a stranger by one. You know the heart of a man robbed of his mandate for you where once robbed of your mandate, PMB?.you know the heart of a people denied of their right to elect whom they desire. We call on you to expedite ongoing investigations into the activities of the Hon Justice Adedayo Oyebanji led tribunal.

Signed:

Comrade: Hussaina Usman

Comrade: Awaalu Mogaji

Comrade: Adenike Majekodunmi.

TRANSPARENCY IN JUSTICE INITIATIVE

(An Affiliate of Open Society Foundation).

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