Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), a civil rights group, has called on the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Mohammed, to charge popular Catholic cleric, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka for contempt of court.
The group said that Father Mbaka’s prophecy that Governor Emeka Ihedioha would be sacked by the apex court undermined the Supreme Court’s credibility in the ongoing Imo State Gubernatorial Election Petition before the court.
Mbaka prophesied that Ihedioha, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), would lose his seat to Sen. Hope Uzodinma, the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s candidate in the 2019 governorship election in the state. Uzodinma placed a distant fourth in the poll but is challenging the governor’s election.
Both the Imo Governorship Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal affirmed Ihedioha’s victory, which has been challenged in the Supreme Court.
HURIWA said Mbaka’s behaviour meant he had turned himself into a political agent provocateur and APC agent bent on driving the state into chaos.
In the statement signed by National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, the group said Father Mbaka’s statement was capable of creating the impression that Supreme Court judges had leaked the anticipated judgement in the case to the cleric.
According to HURIWA, “This is not the first time that the nation’s highest court has faced criticism from the public over alleged leakage.
“This time around, may we join millions of worried Nigerians to task the Chief justice of Nigeria to openly tell what is going on and why the conspiratorial silence from the Supreme Court since the Enugu State based Catholic Priest who is a well-known associate and sympathiser of the APC at the national level made a contemptuous prediction purportedly and pointedly claiming that he has the esoteric knowledge of the outcome of a pending political litigation between the APC and the PDP in Imo state with specific reference to the legal challenge mounted by Senator Hope Uzodinma challenging the victory of Governor Emeka Ihedioha.”