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Human Rights Writers Condemns ‘Politically Tainted’ Judgment Of Presidential Election Tribunal

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The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has condemned the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal that dismissed the petition filed by candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari during the February 23, 2019, election.

In a statement on Wednesday, September 11, 2019, the group said it was horrified by the judgment, stating that the judicial system is compromised and tainted by political loyalty.

The statement reads, “We are not surprised that the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal has wrongly confirmed the overwhelming perception of most critical-minded Nigerians that nothing good will ever come out from the current contraption we call the Nigerian judicial system.

“The Nigerian judicial system as it is currently constituted is dysfunctional, is compromised, is tainted politically, is populated and driven physically by people with the wrong mindset who are not patriotic, who are not committed to the real essence of justice as it should be.”

The group said it was befuddling that the tribunal dismissed important issued raised by Abubakar and his party, stating that Nigerians are interested in verifying if President Buhari indeed has a secondary school certificate as required by law.

The tribunal had upheld that the certificate of President Buhari with the Nigerian Military was higher than a secondary school certificate and therefore he was ‘eminently’ qualified to contest for the position of president.

However, HURIWA said the constitution was clear on the educational requirement for anyone willing to participate in Nigerian elections.

The group said, “It is inconceivable that the judiciary would close its eyes to the fact that there are lingering debates and argument strong enough to disqualify one of the candidates which are the exact whereabouts of the secondary school certificate.

“If the constitution says you need at least a (secondary) school certificate, what the constitution means is that the secondary school certificate is the minimum benchmark.

“Secondly, we are highly disappointed in the first instance by the dismissal of the application that was filed by the petitioner seeking to get the Supreme Court’s nod to compel INEC to allow the petitioners to supervise the server.”

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