Rights groups drag Justice Haruna Tsammani, other PEPT members to 70 world leaders over election judgement

The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety), Nigeria; the Ekwenche Research Institute and Organisation, Chicago, USA; the Civil Liberties Organisation, South-East Zone; and the South-East Based Coalition of Democracy and Human Rights Organisations have dragged Justice Haruna Tsammani (JCA) and other 2023 Presidential Electoral Petition Tribunal (PEPT) members to 70 world leaders over the judgement of presidential election.

The groups said that the call followed the failure of the Justice Tsammani-led 2023 PEPT to publicly explain who actually wrote the widely condemned judgment of September 6, 2023, demanded in our joint-statement of Sept 11, 2023.

The Chairman of Intersociety Mr. Emeka Umeagbalasi in a letter to Labour Union leaders, pro-democratic bodies and opposition political parties signed on behalf other human rights groups said that the five 2023 PEPT panelists were dragged to 70 respected world democratic leaders through its letters dated October 2, 2023 to 31 EU Leaders including H.E., Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, H.E., Charles Michel, the European Council President, H.E., Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission President and 28 other top EU Diplomats.

He said that the petitioned also were 30 other Democratic World Leaders through our letter dated October 5, 2023 addressed to: the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS and the Ambassadors of the Netherlands, the Finland, the Poland, the Federal Republic of Germany, the France, the Spain, the Czech Republic, the Italy, the Belgium, the Denmark, the Portugal, the Republic of Greece, the Austria, the Hungary, the Bulgaria, the Slovakia and the Sweden and the High Commissioners of the Britain, the Canadian and the Australia; the Ambassadors of the United States of America, the Israel, the Royal Norway, the Ireland (High Commissioner), the Switzerland, the Brazil, the Japan, the South Korea and the Mexico.

“The recipients of our letter of October 3, 2023 were the seven top UK Government officials: the Rt. Hon James Cleverly, (then) UK Foreign Secretary/MP, the Rt. Hon Andrew Mitchell, UK Minister of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Dev Office/Minister for Dev and Africa) and a member of House of Commons, Rt. Hon Anne-Maria Trevelyan, UK Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Dev Office) and a member of House of Commons, Rt. Hon David Rutley (MP for Macclesfield), UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign, Commonwealth and Dev Office and a member of House of Commons, Rt. Hon Leo Docherty, UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign, Commonwealth and Dev Office and a member of House of Commons, David Patrick Paul Alton, the Lord Alton of Liverpool and a respected member of House of Lords and Dame Caroline Anne Cox, the Baroness of the House of Lords.

“We also wrote to Hon Justin Pierre James Trudeau PC MP, Prime Minister of Canada through Hon Melanie Joly PC MP, Foreign Minister of Canada and two top US Diplomats in New York and Washington DC, USA through our letter dated October 8, 2023.

“We had asked the PEPT Judges to public explain: “Who Wrote the Judgments of the 2023 PEPT In Nigeria? Where, When and How Were They Written and How Come the Imprimatur or header of Tinubu’s Presidential Legal Team (TPLT) was found in all the 798 Pages of The Judgment’s Certified True Copy (CTC) issued by the Presidential Election Tribunal?

“Apart from our letters going down memory lane with regard to the subject matter including controversies inherent in the judgment(s), we also strongly requested for comprehensive visa ban against members of Nigeria’s 2023 PEPT and their nuclear families (. i.e., wives, children, and nannies) and those of them already residing or studying or holidaying or visiting or working in such Democracy enabling countries.

“The UK Government through her “Nigerian Unit” of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development office had on October 9, 2023, replied to us (Intersociety and ors) through: No. TO2023/17959 in which the Government of UK reaffirmed as follows: “The UK is a long-term supporter of democracy in Nigeria. Throughout the elections, we communicated that anti-democratic behaviour must not be met with impunity.

“As the Minister for Development and Africa set out in his 21 February statement on the Nigerian elections, the UK will impose visa restrictions on those who have been evidenced to undermine free and fair elections in Nigeria…” The Canadian Government had also replied through her Prime Minister’s Office mail to us dated October 19, 2023, in which the Government wrote as quoted below:

”I would like to acknowledge receipt of your correspondence of October 8, 2023, sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Please be assured that your comments, offered on behalf of the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (and ors) have been carefully reviewed. I note that you have also addressed your letter to (through) the Honorable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs. While the Prime Minister appreciates having been made aware of your correspondence, he will leave the issues you raised to be considered by the Foreign Minister’’. H. Hussain, Executive Correspondence Officer/Agent de la correspondence Executive Correspondence Services/Services de la correspondence de la haute direction (for Canadian Prime Minister’s Office).

“By his headship of the widely condemned and strongly rejected 2023 PEPT Judgment(s), nomination of Haruna Tsammani (JCA) as a ‘Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria’ is not only strongly opposed and roundly rejected but also seen many as “a reward for a bad job well done”. His elevation to the Supreme Court of Nigeria is also capable of causing more corporate image damage(s) to what remains of the country’s international rule of law rating and integrity (if any).

” It is hereby our strongly and persuasive call on the petitioned democratic forces to bring the 21 other JSC nominees cutting across the country’s six geopolitical zones into strong public scrutiny and ensure that the bad and the ugly among them are not allowed access into the Hallowed Chamber of the Nigerian Supreme Court.

“Therefore, the petitioned Democratic Forces must rise and activate propellers of good and accountable governance in Nigeria or any part thereof. For instance, National Assembly members can never be rubber-stamping or Executive Arm turning itself into demigods if Democratic Forces are alive to their oversight democratic responsibilities. Well raised and harnessed public opinions in the world over are the nightmare and effective checks and balances for erring and dictatorial public office holders, whether elected, selected or appointed.

“The Democratic Forces petitioned are specifically called upon to ensure that come August 22, 2024, when the present CJN goes on mandatory retirement, a stooge and a democracy enemy is not imposed and allowed access into the hallowed seat of CJN as well as come October 21, 2025 when the current INEC Chair will mandatorily end his last five year tenure. His replacement must not be a stooge and an arch enemy of democracy and political participation in Nigeria or any part thereof,” the letter stated.