Election Tribunals: CLO Cautions Akwa Ibom Politicians
The Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Akwa Ibom State Branch has advised political parties and politicians who have matters before the Election Petition Tribunals sitting in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, to stop heating up the polity with sensational media reports on the proceedings of the tribunals.
This advice was made by the chairman of the pro-democracy cum human rights group, Otuekong Franklyn Isong, in a press briefing held in his office in Uyo, on Tuesday, July 16, 2019, while reacting to a statement credited to the state chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Ini Okopido, at the weekend.
The APC chairman had in a press conference last Saturday, called for the resignation of the chairman of the Election Petition Tribunal for the National and State Assembly Election in the state, Justice Jennifer Mbalamen Ijohor.
But speaking to newsmen, the CLO chairman is of the view that the call for the resignation of the Tribunal chairman by the APC was coming too late as it could heat up the polity and degenerate into political tension in the state.
Comrade Isong expressed concern that the way and manner political parties and politicians are approaching their matters before the tribunals, if not checked, could cause avoidable political crisis hence, the CLO wishes to advise that all parties that have matters before the Tribunal to allow the tribunals to adjudicate on the matters, noting that anyone that is not satisfied with the tribunal’s judgement at the end of the day, still has a right within the law to go on appeal to a higher court, instead of resorting to public statements that could politicise the judiciary and bring its image to disrepute.
The civil society group also advised media practitioners in the state to remain unbiased in their coverage of the sittings and proceedings of the Election Petition Tribunals in Akwa Ibom State.