Following the increasing activities of secessionist groups in the South-east, Nigeria’s anti-terror group, the National Coalition Against Terrorism (NCAT) has asked the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Olukayode Ariwoola to immediately direct election appeal tribunals in Abia State, especially to deliver their judgments electronically.
According to the coalition, there is need to ensure the safety of justices on such panels, praising tribunal judges in Kano and Kaduna for availing themselves the use of Zoom in delivering their judgments.
At a news conference Monday in Abuja, National Coordinator of NCAT, Terrence Kuanum said democracy is under threat due to the activities of fifth columnists , hence its decision to intervene.
Speaking on the situation in the South-ast, Kuanum said; “We are all aware of several threats to life and property in the South East.
“In the last 10 years, we have witnessed massive destruction of police stations. Our police personnels no longer go to work because their lives are consistently under threat and our prison facilities have not also been spared by the activities of these terrorists. Markets have been severally closed in the South-east on the directive of these terrorist groups.
“For us, it is therefore an issue of concern that our judicial personnel who are assigned to carry out the patriotic duty at the various election tribunals across the South East might come under threat considering the activities of the terrorists within the region.
“We could recall that people who have survived the attacks of these terrorists are those who carry large convoys and bullet proof vehicles yet we saw the massive loss of lives of our security personnel when the convoy of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah came under attack by these terrorists.
“We, therefore, request that the Chief Justice of the Federation immediately directs all tribunal judgments in the South-east to deliver their judgements through electronic means to save the judges involved in this patriotic assignment from coming under threat or even losing their lives.
“Further risking the life of these judges will bring their rulings to disrepute knowing so well that they are under threat and might have delivered their judgment under duress to save their lives.
“Our intelligence gathering and information reaching us show that criminal elements are preparing to foment trouble, cause chaos and unrest if the judgement does not favour their interests.
“The coalition therefore urges the leadership of the judiciary to immediately direct the delivery of the judgment of Abia state election tribunal through electronic means and also evacuate all its staff from Abia state to return the integrity of the judicial institution.”