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The National Coalition Against Terrorism made a request on Monday for Chief Justice Olukayode Ariwoola of Nigeria to enable the use of electronic judgment delivery in election petition tribunals across the South East.
The nation’s anti-terrorism entity drew attention to the escalating violence, loss of life, and the secessionist agenda spearheaded by the Indigenous People of Biafra, a separatist movement within the area, as the foundation for their appeal.
The warning is also timed two days after IPOB imposed a ban on South-Eastern citizens from observing the nation’s Independence Day anniversary, cautioning that those who dare to celebrate with the Nigerian flag in Biafra land will face dire consequences.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Monday, Terrence Kuanum, the National Coordinator of the National Coalition Against Terrorism, passionately urged Ariwoola to learn from the successful implementation of Zoom technology in Kano and Kaduna judgments, aiming to protect tribunal justices.
Kuanum clarified that their primary concern revolves around the Abia State Election Petitions Tribunal, scheduled to convene in what is believed to be the territory of specific IPOB leaders.
He said, ‘We are all aware of several threats to lives and property in the South-East over the activities of IPOB and the unknown gunmen which has resulted in so many loss of life and properties.’
‘In the last 10 years, we have witnessed massive destruction of police stations; our police personnel no longer go to work because their lives are consistently under threat and our prison facilities have not also been spared by the activities of these terrorists. Markets have been on several times closed in the South-East at the directive of these terrorist groups.’
‘We, therefore, request that the Chief Judge of the Federation immediately directs all tribunal judgments in the South-East to deliver their judgments through electronic means to save the judges involved in this patriotic assignment from coming under threat or even losing their lives.’
‘Further risking the life of these judges will bring their rulings in disrepute knowing full well that they are under threat and might have delivered their judgment under duress to save their lives.’