Saturday, 13 August 2016

Former Benue PDP guber candidate, Tarzoor Indicted by NHRC for Electoral Fraud

A former Benue governorship candidate of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Terhemen Tarzoor has denied allegations of electoral fraud leveled against him by the Nigerian Human Rights Commission, NHRC.

Tarzoor alongside other politicians were indicted for perpetrating electoral impunity between 2007 and 2015.

Responding to the report via a press statement, the PDP chieftain noted that he was not invited by the commission to defend himself, questioning how they arrived at such conclusions.

He said, "While in a crucial meeting this evening in Abuja towards the repositioning of our great party, the People's Democratic Party (PDP), several calls and text messages kept coming in from family members, friends, well wishers and political associates all over the country to the effect that, my name has been listed and published among the 118 persons indicted by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) over electoral violence perpetrated by the listed names in the 2011 and 2015 general elections respectively.

"The alleged indictment have not been officially communicated to me; I wish to make the following observations and clarifications:

"That the said indictment was as a result of a Seven Man Commission of Inquiry set up by the NHRC which recommendations the Commission has acted on. My observation is however, that, a Commission of Inquiry is a fact-finding body and, therefore, ought to have invited my honourable self for proof of allegations levelled against me, if any at all. The fact that I didn't receive any invitation from the Commission, ab initio, makes me imagine how it arrived at its resolutions indicting me even when it denied me the opportunity of fair hearing.

"I wish to reiterate that, nothing would have stopped me from attending its sessions if I was invited to appear before the Commission of Inquiry for questioning.I wish to herein state and clarify that, I am a peaceful and law abiding citizen of our dear country Nigeria and I have never taken laws into my hands. I have always abided by the rule and due process of the law especially with specific regard to election matters.

"It must be recalled that, in 2011, I was re-elected into the Benue State House of Assembly on the platform of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), was therein elected Speaker of the State Assembly but was subsequently removed from office as a result of irregularities observed in the conduct of the election by INEC, through a judgement of the Appeal Court panel sitting in Makurdi and I accepted the verdict of the Court.

"Again as candidate of the PDP in the April 11 2015 Governorship Election in Benue State, after the election results were declared against me, I approached the Election Petition Tribunal and went all the way through the Appeal Court to the Supreme Court wherin, the Apex Court gave a judgement against me. No matter how dissatisfied I was with the verdicts of the various courts, I accepted the outcomes and has since put them behind me.

"It is only on the basis of the above that I query the resolutions of the Commission of Inquiry which recommendations the NHRC has relied upon to indict me.

"As I have stated above, I am a peaceful and generally law abiding citizen who has tremendous respect for the role of the NHRC so far and shall not act in a manner that is capable of undermining its operations in the country. However, I shall quickly communicate with my team of lawyers as to the next line of action to be taken.

"I appreciate all those who have shown genuine concern towards me since this information was made public and urge you all to be calm as I shall do everything within my reach to address this matter with strict compliance with the laws of the land." the statement added.

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