The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has submitted a petition to the National Judicial Council (NJC) regarding the proceedings of the Enugu governorship election petition tribunal.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, made this announcement in Owerri. The petition aims to highlight what HURIWA considers a “miscarriage of justice” related to the alleged authenticity of Enugu State Governor Peter Mbah’s National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) discharge certificate.
According to HURIWA, the Enugu State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal was responsible for adjudicating Petition No: EPT/EN/GOV/01/2023. This petition was filed by Chijioke Edoga and the Labour Party, contesting the outcomes of the March 18, 2023, gubernatorial election in Enugu State, involving the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), Ndubuisi Peter Mbah, and the People’s Democratic Party.
HURIWA emphasized the significant role played by the NYSC, a government institution, in these proceedings. The NYSC testified that they did not issue the certificate presented by Governor Mbah. This revelation raised legal questions about the credibility of a national institution and electoral integrity.
Furthermore, HURIWA raised questions about the appointment of Justice Akano to preside over this governorship dispute, given a previous petition to the NJC regarding her handling of a case. The petition questions why Justice Akano was selected as the chairman of the panel despite allegations of miscarriage of justice brought before the NJC.
HURIWA stressed the importance of the NYSC certificate as a symbol of national unity and service. They expressed concern that allowing individuals to present forged certificates without consequences undermines the credibility of all certificates issued in Nigeria and jeopardizes the sanctity of national symbols.