Following growing tension and its resultant effect from the fallout of election tribunal judgements across Delta State, a pressure group known as Niger Delta Comrades Assembly (NDCA), has called on the Nigeria Judicial Commission (NJC), to relocate all election tribunal appeal hearings in Delta State to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The group claimed that their position was predicated on the tension the various judgements from the tribunal may have caused particularly to those who lost the elections and tribunal cases.
Briefing journalists on Wednesday October 4th 2023, at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Press Centre on Maryam Babangida Way, the National Speaker, Rt. Hon Lebari Young flanked by the National Clerk, Hamilton Ubido, claimed that the February 25 the and March 18th elections conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), left bad blood among contestants and their followers.
Hear him: ‘It is a public knowledge that the General elections conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) gave birth to several electoral litigations by the candidates across boards.
“Post-election litigations in Nigeria have become as constant as the Northern star which verily questions the integrity of our electoral umpires which is not supposed to be so.
“Nevertheless, today, we are not here to talk about the free and fairness of our elections, but to point out an issue that should be handled swiftly and careful by the government of Nigeria to avert unnecessary agitations that may lead to breakdown of law and order.
“As a group, the Niger Delta Comrades Assembly has observed with keen attention the brewing political tension in Delta state following election tribunal verdicts passed in the state.
“While some political pundits are jubilating, some are sad and angry in view of the verdicts.
“Elections and post-election violence is nothing new in Delta State. Delta State produces approximately 40 percent of Nigeria’s oil.
“According to Nigeria’s 1999 constitution, 13 percent of federal revenue from natural resources is returned to the state from which it came, on a “derivation” basis.
“Delta State is thus the richest state in the Nigerian federation, and control of its government structures is a major prize both for the individuals and the political parties concerned.
“Historically, among the main causes of the 2003 fighting in Delta State (as in 1999) have been disputes over the manner in which state and federal elections would be run, and the lack of confidence in the institutions responsible for resolving those disputes and ensuring the vote would be free and fair.
“What we do not want as a group in the State, is aggrieved persons high jacking the peace and tranquility currently being enjoyed in Delta State as there seems to be growing tension in the camp of those who lost to their opponents at the various tribunals.
“It is on this note that the Niger Delta Comrades Assembly is calling on the Nigerian Judicial Commission (NJC) to relocate all Election Tribunal Appeal Hearings in Delta State to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
“The political tension is not only in Delta State but can be sensed in some states across the country. We believe as a group that our Justices must be protected at all cost and the sanctity of the judiciary must be upheld at all times.
“We also know that the best way to do this is through the protection of esteemed wigs of the judiciary.
Furthermore, we call on politicians who have lost at the tribunals to prepare for the next round of elections, rather than inflaming passions.
“We look forward to the kind and swift response of the NJC’s leadership, in order to avert unnecessary agitations that may degenerate to the breakdown of law and order in the State”, he added.