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Odinkalu leads Tanzanian opposition legal team at African court

Odinkalu leads Tanzanian opposition legal team at African court
November 28
19:25 2020

Chidi Odinkalu, popular Nigerian lawyer, is the lead counsel of Seif Sharif Hamad, opposition candidate in last month presidential election in Tanzania.

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Hama, who ran under the Alliance for Change and Transparency Wazalendo (ACT Wazalendo), filed a suit against the government of Tanzania to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

He said his rights to participate in the election was deliberately restricted by the government using state’s institutions to frustrate him.

Odinkalu filed the suit on Hamad’s behalf. He will be leading Ibrahima Kane, a seasoned lawyer and human right defender, from Senegal.

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The court sits in Arusha, Tanzania.

Ado Shaibu, general secretary of the party, is named as second applicant, while Ezekiah Wenje, a contestant for the position of member of parliament in Rorya constituency, Mara Region, Tanzania, is named as third applicant.

A candidate for the house of representative in the Kwahani constituency in Zanzibar, Omar Mussa Makame is named the 4th applicant. Other registered voters also joined as applicants.

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The applicants argued that both the National Electoral Commission  and the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC), which organised and supervised the conduct of the elections in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar, were compromised.

They alleged that all the institutions mentioned above worked for the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party, to the detriment of other political parties.

Among other infractions, the applicants said that they were molested while their agents were denied access to polling stations and that security agencies refused to investigate the allegations even when reported to them.

They asked the court to direct Tanzania  to investigate and bring to account all persons found to be responsible for the violations of the rights of their rights.

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They also sought an order requiring Tanzania to adopt constitutional, legislative, administrative and other measures to remedy the violations of their rights in addition to paying reparations.

The suit was filed on November 20, 2020.

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