ELECTION TRIBUNALS: CLO CONDEMNS MEDIA TRIAL
The Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Akwa Ibom State Branch, on Friday, August 30, 2019, appealed to politicians in Akwa Ibom state who have matters before the various Elections Petition Tribunals holding in Uyo, the state capital, not to subject their matters to media trial but, to wait for the judgments of the Tribunals, in order not to heat up the polity.
The chairman of CLO, Otuekong Franklyn Isong, who made the appeal in a press briefing in his office, condemned the ongoing unabated media attacks on the justices handling matters at the Tribunals by politicians and their supporters in the state, saying that if the media war is not halted immediately, it could derail the course of justice in the state.
The pro-democracy group advised parties whose elections petition matters are yet to be resolved by the Tribunals not to resort to self-help by making unguarded public statements and allegations that are tantamount to intimidating the Tribunal jurists.
The CLO, according to Franklyn Isong, is keenly following the sittings of the various Elections Petition Tribunals holding in Uyo, through its members who are lawyers and is, so far, satisfied with the Tribunals, expressing optimism that the verdicts of these Tribunals will resolve the disputes arising from the 2019 general elections in the State.
The human rights group, however, added that the parties at the Tribunals should be reminded that they are at liberty to further explore their rights of appeal, if they are not satisfied with the Tribunals’ judgments, rather than taking the laws into their hands.
The CLO’s appeal is coming on the heels of a bribery allegation made against some justices handling matters at the Tribunals by Barr. Leo Ekpenyong which has triggered public reactions in the State.