The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), a pro-democracy and non-governmental body, has described the just-concluded presidential and National Assembly election is a “charade and a monumental travesty of justice”.
The group has also encouraged Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to explore the legal option that he has alraedy said he would.
HURIWA accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of manipulating the outcomes of the presidential and National Assembly's polls in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and as such committed “more egregious and satanic crimes than the alleged billionaire kidnapper, Mr. Evans”.
According to the group, "the double standards show that Nigeria is an unjust community of individuals that support travesty of justice committed by the elite but would very rapidly carry out mob justice on petty criminals".
The group cited instances in which they accused the President of tampering with the rule of law, such as 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”.
HURIWA also accused Buhari of deploying the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Department of State Services (DSS) to “intimidate and sow fear” in the minds of judicial officers.
A media statement by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the head of legal, Barrister Sylvia Nneka Okonkwo, referred to the presidential election as “the most predatory and roguish political enterprise that has ever happened in the twenty century world".
The statement read: “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.”