Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has blasted the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) over the just-concluded presidential election, describing it as a “charade and a monumental travesty of justice”.
HURIWA National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the head of legal, Sylvia Nneka Okonkwo, gave the verdict in a statement on Thursday, saying Saturday’s presidential election is the “most predatory and roguish political enterprise that has ever happened in the twenty century world.”
The pro-democracy and non-governmental group accused INEC of manipulating the outcomes of both the presidential and National Assembly’s polls in favour of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), noting the electoral body committed “more egregious and satanic crimes than the alleged billionaire kidnapper, Evans”.
It urged Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to go to court and challenge the outcome of the election.
The statement read partly, “The election was anything but peaceful, transparent, free and fair, just as the collation of results at the national level was choreographed to appear like a scenario whereby a robbery gang took their time to allocate the looted fund to themselves whereas the victims are left to agonise and pass through trauma. The European and so-called observers from ECOWAS, AU and Commonwealth were bribed to endorse the sham elections by INEC.
“The election witnessed the most brazen acts of deprivation of the right to vote technically and systematically implemented by INEC against the southern voters and most especially, voters bearing Christian names because of the widespread perception that Christians would normally not vote for a government that did nothing to stop the genocide against them by armed Fulani herdsmen.
“HURIWA condemned the electoral violence that trailed the polls in Kogi, Rivers, Bayelsa, Lagos and the deliberate disenfranchisement of Igbo voters in Lagos and Sabon Gari, Kano by the political godfathers of those states in collusion with INEC. HURIWA stated that the pains of the manipulation of the election may take years to heal but the group has called on like-minded ideological citizens to organize themselves and champion the cause of achieving total electoral reforms to make the electoral body truly independent.
“HURIWA has therefore called on the police to arrest and prosecute all those who disrupted the polls as captured by the vigilant cameras of patriotic Nigerians which are circulating on verified accounts of several credible statesmen and women of truth.
“Sweeping the organized crimes that happened during the elections behind the carpets of impunity is no longer an option. We condemn all those who are gloating and celebrating over the results of the election which, in all honesty is worse, than the crimes ascribed to the Evans, the billionaire kidnapper.”
HURIWA further pointed to cases in which President Buhari contravened constitutional provision and the rule of law, like the “unconstitutional suspension of Justice Walter Onnoghen over nebulous charges and his (Buhari’s) persistent disobedience of several court orders in the cases of erstwhile National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, and the leader of Shiites Islamic Movement, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky”.
If further accused Mr. Buhari of unleashing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Department of State Services (DSS) on judicial officers to intimidate and sow fear in their minds.