Worried that the Federal High Court divisions across the country have dished out contradictory injunctions to different governorship aspirants in the political parties seeking to run for the November 16, 2013 governorship election in Anambra State, a democracy inclined Non-Governmental organization- Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA) has called on the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Maryam Alooma Mukhtar to intervene and stop the desecration of the Temple of Justice.
The rights group also charged the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court Justice Ibrahim Auta to ensure that judges under his practice direction adhered strictly to professional ethical codes of conduct and respect all statutory provisions against corruption and economic crimes. HURIWA noted that the high volume of injunctions is capable of truncating the reforms initiated by the Chief Justice of Nigeria to rid the nation’s court system of corruption and abuse of power by judges for pecuniary gains.
HURIWA noted that the contradictory injunctions from the Port Harcourt and Abuja divisions of the Federal High Court seem to be compelling the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognize several aspirants as official candidates of Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] and the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in the coming Anambra governorship poll. It therefore, tasked the hierarchy of the nation’s judiciary to monitor the judges of these courts closely to stop them from dragging the name of the nation’s judiciary further into public opprobrium and disgrace.
The rights group National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Zainab Yusuf also urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Offences Commission (ICPC) to send competent and uncompromising forensic crime experts to monitor the financial transactions of judges handling political litigations relating to crises that emanated from governorship party primaries election in Anambra State conducted by the major political parties with specific reference to PDP and APGA.
The Rights group charged the Chief Justice of Nigeria as presiding chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC) to set up Independent panel of experts comprising serving judges of superior courts of record with high integrity to understudy the circumstances surrounding the existence of multiple injunctions from the Federal High Courts largely from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) ordering the electoral commission [INEC] to recognize multiple aspirants as official candidates of those parties in the same governorship election.
Faulting the undue interference of the judiciary in the Anambra governorship election, the Rights group reminded the nation’s judicial hierarchy of how some judges of the Federal High Court played ignominious roles in the events that characterized the July 2003 kidnap of the then sitting governor of Anambra State Dr. Chris Ngige. HURIWA said it is the duty of all patriots to save the nation’s judiciary from being messed up since it remains the last hope of the common man just as it tasked the National Judicial Commission to take effective proactive measures to guide against abuse of court process by litigants and judges.
“We are worried by the unprecedented number of contradictory injunctions issued to over-ambitious politicians from Anambra state so far by different divisions of the Federal High Court which has concurrent jurisdiction. The rate at which these injunctions are flying out of these court rooms and are brandished by over -zealous politicians, the public standing and image of the Nigerian court system will suffer immense and immeasurable damage”, HURIWA, stated.