By Joshua Chibuzo Andrew, Owerri
A section of Imo state citizens Saturday, 1st July, 2023, embarked on a peaceful protest, demanding the immediate return of the Imo Election Petition Tribunals from Nasarawa state which it was relocated.
The protesters in their numbers stormed at the Imo state High Court, Owerri, displaying various placards with different inscriptions.
The Election Tribunal was said to have been relocated to Nasarawa state when the Court in Imo state received a ‘threat letter’ from gunmen to discontinue all post election tribunal proceedings in the state.
The leader of the delegation, Milla Sunday, who spoke to newsmen, said the idea was to register their displeasure over the relocation of Imo state Election Petition Tribunal to Nasarawa state.
He said the protest would send a signal to the President of Court of Appeal, who will hearken to their voices by wading into the matter.
Hear him, “we are on a peaceful protest. We only demand that the ongoing Election Petition Tribunal in Imo state which was relocated to a far-away Nasarawa state be returned to our state. We consider it safer in our state, Imo.
“Those who instigated the idea of transferring the proceedings to Nasarawa state are litigants who have closed their submissions and it will now be a hurdle for defendants who will open their defense soon. This is going to be a herculean task for them to be traveling from Imo state to Nasarawa state, with their witnesses, lawyers and others involved in the defence.”
He further pointed out that it was an orchestrated plan to shut out Imo masses who are interested in going to the tribunal to witness the cases.
He argued that the ‘threat letter’ said to have emanated from the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed affiliate, Eastern Security Network (ESN), was an unsigned paper which the leadership of IPOB/ESN has publicly denied and dissociated themselves from the letter.