The African Democratic Congress has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to apologizes to the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen.
The ADC also said it would continue to support the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in his quest to reclaim his mandate. The party’s National Working Committee stated this in a communiqué issued on Tuesday after its meeting held in Abuja. The ADC criticized the conduct of the 2019 elections.
It claimed that its members, who participated in the exercise, were robbed allegedly through the combined efforts of state institutions, including the Independent National Electoral Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the National Communications Commission.
The communiqué, which was read to journalists by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Yemi Kolapo, was signed by its Chairman, Ralph Nwosu and the Secretary, Alhaji Said Abdullahi. The ADC affirmed that democracy in Nigeria could remain relevant through the restoration of the people’s right to vote and elect their political leaders at the executive and legislative organs.
The communiqué read, “The only way the democratic electoral process can be strengthened to continue to serve as a role model at this stage of Nigeria’s nation building is for the judiciary to continue to play its constitutional role strongly, without fear or favor, in order to stop the excesses of politicians and save the country.
“We, therefore, call on the learned men of the third arm to act to restore power to the people in our democracy. It is in the best interest of every Nigerian that we do not knowingly bring about the obituary of our democracy.
“Finally, we call on President Muhammadu Buhari to tender an unreserved apology to Justice Walter Onnoghen and restore him to his position with immediate effect. Any further progression of the torture of this Supreme Court chief debases Nigeria.”
It added, “The government in power promoted violence, and used the police, military, intelligence agencies and thugs to terrorize innocent citizens and pollute the electoral space.
“There was heavy commercialization of the process, which involved vote-buying, inducement of electoral officers and ad hoc staff, and other forms of electoral corruption by the incumbent federal and state members of the executive arm of government.
“The cause of democracy was thwarted and the people were denied the right to exercise their mandate. The Nigerian public and international observers are witnesses to the desperation of the Presidency and state governors, and corruption of the entire process.
“As a political party, we abhor fraudulent electoral practices. That is why we were the only party that set up an organization to address such vices.”