Buhari under fire in Senate over killings, kidnapping across Nigeria

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Eminent jurists and lawyers have called for the scrapping of all appeals in pre and post-election cases in the country as a way of arresting the spate of litigations by politicians and their political parties.

The jurists comprising Justices of Supreme Court, Court of Appeal Justices, high court judges and senior lawyers in the country called for one-time tribunal for all categories of elections without any further appeal to any other court in the hierarchy of courts.

The jurists and the senior lawyers came to the conclusion after they participated in a 3-day national workshop on “Reform of Election Litigation Processes: A Perspective on Adjudication.

The brainstorming workshop was put together by the Court of Appeal in collaboration with the International Foundation for Electoral System IFES in Abuja.

In their communique exclusively obtained by DAILY POST on Tuesday, the jurists and lawyers noted with concern the alarming rate at which Nigerian politicians and their political parties bombard courts with series of cases before, during and after elections.

To stem the tide, they held that subjecting election cases to a one-time tribunal would help in sanitizing the body polity of the nation.

The communique noted the laudable but novel proposition geared towards the elimination of all forms of delays usually occasioned by the levels of appeals in pre-election and post-election matters.

It, however, held that all pre-election and post-election matters be heard and determined once and for all without any appeal to any other court.

To achieve their proposal, the jurists and lawyers suggested the composition of the Election Petition Tribunals and Court to include
”A five-man panel made up of a Justice of the Court of Appeal as Chairman, and four other members, including a Justice of the Court of Appeal and three Judges of the High Court or its equivalent for the House of Representatives Election Petition Panel.”

”Senatorial Election Petition Panel to comprise of a five-man panel made up of a Justice of the Court of Appeal as Chairman and four other members, including two Justices of the Court of Appeal and two Judges of the High Court or its equivalent

”Governorship Election Petition Tribunal of a five-man panel made up of a Justice of the Supreme Court as Chairman and four other members, including one Justice of the Supreme Court, one Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, one Justice of the Court of Appeal and one Judge of the High Court or its equivalent.

”Presidential Election Petition Court to consist of a six-man panel made up of a Justice of the Supreme Court as Chairman and six other members, including one Justice of the Supreme Court, a Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, a Justice of Court of Appeal, two Judges of High Court or its equivalent.

They also spoke of the need to revisit the issue of adopting Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to Electoral matters and another revisit to the issue of establishment of a Constitutional Court.

The communique also canvassed that all laws relating to election conduct in the country be totally overhauled and reformed to make election results acceptable to both the winners, losers and the entire citizenry.

Participants at the workshop canvassed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) do everything within its legitimate powers to ensure that the electronic voting system is incorporated into the Electoral Act.

The participants also called for the enthronement and institutionalization of fairness and speedy dispensation of justice in election matters because of its multiple effects on democracy, good governance, rule of law, peace and socio-political development of Nigeria.

Participants were drawn from the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Courts and Senior Lawyers in the Country.

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