The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has expressed shock that the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Muhammad Tanko, and the entire hierarchy of the Supreme Court of Nigeria are not bothered by the apparent contemptuous act displayed by the Enugu State-based Catholic priest, Fr Ejike Mbaka, over his comments regarding the apex court’s expected judgment on the Imo State governorship election.
The rights group believes that the cleric’s comment undermines the credibility of the nation’s apex court in the subsisting political litigation between the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 election, Senator Hope Uzodinma, and the declared winner of that election and incumbent governor, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha.
HURIWA also accused the controversial Catholic priest of behaving like a political agent provocateur working for the APC and some forces bent on creating confusion and chaos in Imo State for their selfish political gains.
The rights group challenged the Supreme Court to speak up now and clear the foggy political climate that resulted from the anarchic prediction reportedly made by Mabaka of Adoration ministries in Enugu State in which he pointedly asked the Imo State Governor, Mr. Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to get ready to lose his seat this year which, in the thinking of millions of people, referred directly to a matter that is subsisting before the highest court in the land.
In a media statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA condemned the statement credited to Fr Mbaka just as the rights group said there is no doubt that since the religious preacher predicted the outcome of a pending litigation between the APC and the PDP in the Imo state governorship tussle that is before the highest court in the land, there has been a heightened climate of uncertainty and the political fear of the unknown with a section of Imo people believing that someone high up there within the Supreme Court may have allegedly leaked out the contents of the apex court judgment between the two contending political parties who are before their lordships over their disagreement regarding the outcome of the 2019 governorship poll.
“This is not the first time that the nation’s highest court has faced criticism from the public over alleged leakage or otherwise of a verdict that has not been read and in the first sensational allegations of leakage, the then hierarchy of the Supreme Court investigated the claims just as many heads rolled in the nation’s judiciary. This time around, may we join millions of worried Nigerians to task the Chief Justice to openly tell Nigerians 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 the candidate of the former in the Imo state Senator Uzodinma who is challenging the victory of Governor Ihedioha of the PDP.
“We in the organised human rights community have waited for weeks to know what the official reactions from the Supreme Court is and to know what will be the sanction to be unleashed on the politically motivated Catholic priest whose undue and unwarranted interference in the ongoing litigation before the Supreme Court under the guise of issuing ‘spiritual prophesies’ must not be swept under the carpet of impunity because of the fact that the religious personality we are speaking about is a man of means and someone who has all the highest political contacts in Abuja and is in a position to have some privileged information which millions of Nigerians may not have since they do not have the same kind of political networking capacities of a near infinite dimension in Abuja.
“The Supreme Court must be told to come clean and let Nigerians know what their position is and the reason for which this unambiguous contempt of court is being treated with lack of interest.
“Constitutional democracy is all about transparency, accountability and full disclosure. We appeal to the Chief justice of Nigeria to make a public statement concerning the prediction made in a matter that is before his court.
“We must preserve the integrity and independence of the judiciary by every legal means possible.
“HURIWA is demanding that the Supreme Court of Nigeria say all that it knows about the Catholic cleric, Fr Mbaka, who made a categorical statement about a matter before the Supreme Court and has restated his prophecy that the Imo State Governor would lose his seat this 2020.”
HURIWA also disclosed that it is monitoring the reaction of the Catholic Church hierarchy on the disgraceful political prediction by Rev Fr Mbaka with a view to determining if the matter merits a direct complaint to Pope Francis in the Vatican City.