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HURIWA calls for probe of corruption allegations in judiciary

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has called on the National Judicial Council and the Head of the nation’s Court system Justice Olukayode…

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has called on the National Judicial Council and the Head of the nation’s Court system Justice Olukayode Ariwoola to investigate allegations of corruption in the proceedings of the Courts of Appeal hearing election-related appeals emanating from the 2023 elections petitions.

HURIWA is also calling on the President of the Court of Appeal to take immediate steps to decentralise the process of adjudicating the appeals emanating from election petitions from the 2023 General elections.

The body said this will help to dismantle impediments to the dispensation of justice and to open the process to accountability and the constitutional principle of transparency.

Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said: “We are deeply troubled by allegations of corruption that have emerged as a result of this centralization.

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“It is alleged that litigants are engaging in financial transactions to secure favourable judgments. Furthermore, there are claims that the

“HURIWA got a series of intelligence concerning these allegations which is why we are publicly calling on the judicial authority to carry out a clinical and systematic probe of this range of allegations to ascertain if there is merit in the allegations and to take steps to assure litigants and Nigerians that there is no cause for alarm.

“This is not by any stretch of the imagination a direct allegation against anybody in the Court of Appeal but due to the high profile status of the whistle-blowers who gave us the information, we are therefore asking the head of the nation’s Court system to carry out thorough investigation into the allegations.

“These allegations of corruption and interference in the judicial process are not only distressing but pose a significant threat to the integrity and independence of our justice system.”

HURIWA expressed concern about the decision of the President of the Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, to centralize the hearing of political cases related to the state house of assembly, national assembly, and governorship elections.

It said this decision had resulted in a significant backlog of cases and created severe inconveniences for litigants and their legal representatives.

“The President of the Court of Appeal has directed that all appeals arising from the southern part of the country must be heard in Lagos, while those from the northern part of the country must go to Abuja.

“While centralization may have been initiated with good intentions, it has caused unnecessary hardships and financial burdens on individuals who have to travel long distances to attend hearings,” it added.

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