NHRC wrong to indict me – Uduaghan
By Onitsha Shedrack,——-
The former governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor, Prof. Maurice Iwu and 116 others have been indicted by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) report on ending electoral impunity for committing various electoral offences in the 2007/2011 elections.
Dr. Uduagahan and other indicted persons are said to have committed various forms of malpractices and violence during the 2007/2011 general elections in Nigeria, and may be recommended for further investigations and possible prosecutions.
Top of the list of those indicted by the report are Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, former governor of Edo State, Professor Oserheimen Osunbor, a former Acting Governor of Kogi State, Clarence Obafemi and a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Maurice Iwu and Senator Ayo Arise.
Others are the Independent National Electoral Commission and its officials in Anambra, Ebonyi, Delta, Kastina, Kogi and Rivers States, the Appeal Court, Election Petition Tribunals and political parties such as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) the defunt All Nigerian People Party (ANPP) and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Prof. Ben Angwe said those indicted will be further investigated and charged to the appropriate courts of the land.
He added that violence has become part and parcel of elections in Nigeria, noting that cases of ballot box snatching, kidnapping and even murder have been reported during various elections conducted in Nigeria, noting that it will no longer be business as usual as anyone found wanting will be charged to the appropriate court.
Speaking on behalf of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), a National Commissioner in the Organization, Mr Adedeji Shoyebi, said violence has contributed to the recent inconclusiveness of elections across the country and advocated for an electoral offences court as a solution to the menace.
The Chairman of the Technical Working Committee, which carried out the review of the elections, Prof. Nsongura Udombana, gave a breakdown of those indicted by the various electoral tribunals across the country.
However, Dr. Uduaghan, reacting to the accusation in the NHRC report which indicted stated that the commission was wrong to have accused him of being involved in electoral malpractice during the 2007/2011 general elections.
He added that the NHRC did not properly study the judgment of the Appeal Court in Benin, which removed him, noting that the judgment later proved to have been wrongly given against him.
While expressing concern that the NHRC to invite him to hear his side of the story before making its report public, Uduaghan stressed that if the commission had studied the case, they would not recommend him for prosecution.
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