An international organisation, Justice Action and Human Rights Protection International Network, JAHRPI, has faulted the handling of the constitutional stalemate on Kogi Governorship poll by the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami (SAN).
The agency said the AGF ought to have risen above partisan interest in managing the constitutional issues on the poll and also advised the AGF to avoid comments which could influence the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, election petitions tribunal and courts at all levels.
JAHPRI made its position known in a statement by its Executive Director, Africa and Middle East, Dr. Jeff. B. Hartung.
“Consequently, it is our firm belief at JAHRPI that the Nigerian Attorney-General of the Federation, being a political appointee of the ruling party, should have distanced himself from such an issue involving his party and another rival political party, as his role in making public comments perceived as biased is said to have highly contributed to the confusion in the Kogi election.
“The fact that the AGF publicly issued what seemed to be a directive to the INEC and which eventually became the decision of INEC is enough reason to thrust the entire electoral process into ridicule.
“This was the reported situation in Kogi State which culminated in many legal tussles, thus prompting the setting up of a tribunal to settle the contentious electoral issues as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution,” he said, faulting the interview the AGF granted a national daily on June 5.
“In JAHRPI’s analysis, it is obvious that the AGF did not avoid the risk of prejudging the pending litigations which were undergoing careful examination of the facts and law underlying the cases by the Judges at the Election Tribunal.
“In every objective estimation and conclusion by JAHRPI, what the Nigerian Chief Law officer did had the capacity and essential ingredients to hamper the chances of some contending parties getting justice in the case.”
“Without a doubt, the Attorney General acted in a manner that portrays him as having prodded these umpires to be partial.
“This assumption unfortunately turned into reality when few days after the Attorney General made his views public, the Electoral Tribunal ruled in line with the views of the Attorney General.
“Specifically, verified information made available to JAHRPI indicate that ever since 22nd of November, 2015 when the Kogi State governorship election was pronounced as inconclusive by INEC, Nigeria’s regulating agency on electoral matters, there have been preventable multiple electoral disputes.”

  • Bako

    Democracy has been lost the system is just tumbling along as a drunk.