Kogi East socio-cultural group, the Uk’Omu Igala Organization, has called on the Federal Government to relocate the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal to Abuja. The group’s call comes amidst rising concerns over the safety of the tribunal members and the integrity of the electoral process in Kogi State.
In a statement issued on December 5, 2023, the Uk’Omu Igala Organization cited recent attacks on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Lokoja, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Kogi State, and the Secretary of the Electoral Tribunal as reasons for their request.
The group expressed concern that these attacks are an attempt to intimidate the tribunal and prevent them from carrying out their duties.
“We are totally against this kind of brigandage,” the group said in their statement. “The Kogi State Governorship Elections Tribunal should be relocated to Abuja, to ensure they conduct their activities without being exposed to danger.”
The group also called on the President of the Court of Appeal, Hon Justice Monica Bolna’an Dongban-Mensem, and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, to ensure that the tribunal is relocated to Abuja.
They have also called on the Inspector General of Police to intervene in the lawlessness that is ongoing in Kogi State.
“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu should intervene immediately to ensure that rascality, threats, violence and general lawlessness does not produce a governor of Kogi State,” the group added.
It also urged the Federal Government to investigate the recent attacks on INEC officials and the Secretary of the Electoral Tribunal, so that those responsible for these attacks should be brought to justice.
The group’s concerns are echoed by other groups and individuals who are concerned about the safety of the tribunal members and the integrity of the electoral process in Kogi State.