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Odinkalu leads Tanzanian opposition’s legal team at African Court

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A Nigerian human rights activist and former Chairman, Governing Council of the National Human Rights Commission, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, has dragged Tanzanian government to African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. 

Odinkalu will lead another seasoned lawyer and human rights defender from Senegal, Ibrahima Kane in a suit filed on behalf of the opposition candidate in last month’s presidential election in Tanzania, Mr. Seif Sharif Hamad and his party, Alliance for Change and Transparency Wazalendo (ACT Wazalendo) 

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The suit was filed against the Tanzanian government before the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, claiming that Hamad and his political party had the right to participate in the election, adding that they were deliberately restricted by the government, using state’s institutions to frustrate them.

The court sits in Arusha, Tanzania.

Among the court’s judges is a Nigerian, Mrs. Stella Anukam. The suit was filed on November 20, 2020.

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The court on November 25 acknowledged receipt of the application and said it had registered it.

In the suit, General Secretary of the party, Mr. Ado Shaibu,  Mr. Ezekiah Dibogo Wenje, a contestant for the position of Member of Parliament in Rorya Constituency, Mara Region, Tanzania were named as second and third applicants.

A candidate for the House of Representatives in the Kwahani Constituency in Zanzibar, Omar Mussa Makame was named the fourth applicant. Other registered voters also joined as applicants.

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

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