CONFAB Endorses Completion Of Election Petitions Before Swearing-InFeatured, Latest News Thursday, April 24th, 2014
Jacob Oyewale, Abuja
Delegates at the ongoing National Conference in their bid to bring sanity to electoral process adopted proposal to ensure all election petitions deliver judgment before the swearing-in of elected political office holders.
Deputy Chairman of the committee, National Conference Standing Committee on Law, Judiciary and Human Rights, Prof. Auwalu Yadudu on Thursday disclosed this while briefing journalists on the activities of the committee, noting that there was a critical need for the country to get its electoral matters right.
He said, “There are a few things that we have come to a decision or a resolution which we recommend to the main committee.
“Especially for today, there are ways, means and measures that will help minimise delays in the administration of justice.
“Some of the ways and measures we have recommended to minimise delays in electoral matters is the adoption of the Justice Uwais Committee, which urges that all election petitions be resolved before an elected official takes office.
“Secondly, we have also recommended for the adoption at the federal level, of a Constitutional Court which will sort out a few things that will also minimize delays.
“We have also recommended for the adoption of what we call Peoples Courts, and Small Claims Courts.
“These are courts that deal with small matters which you don’t need to go to High Courts or Area Courts. It’s small like ordinary way of resolving disputes, we have recommended that.”
Prof Yadudu stated the committee also recommended the establishment of a Constitutional Court by the Federal Government to minimize the delay in the dispensation of cases bordering on the constitution.
The committee expressed concern over the issue of appointing a state’s Chief Judge, which sometimes generate dispute between state governors and the National Judicial Council.
The committee agreed to visit Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mukhtar and invite other stakeholders to make presentation on Electoral, constitution and other areas under jurisdiction of the committee.
“We did consider the desirability of inviting stakeholders having to do with all issues pertaining to our terms of reference to interact with them, to get their perspectives on the issues before us.
“This is not only limited to the appointment of a Chief Judge, it has to do with prisons, it has to do with delays in justice delivery.
“The decision we took was that we are constrained of time and we do not want to drag this for undue delay.
“Therefore, we have decided that this committee has sufficient expertise and experience and value to address the issue.
“Regardless of that, we would wish to pay a courtesy call on the Chief Justice of Nigeria, who is the head of the judiciary in the country, to pay our regard to the office.
“Perhaps if there is any intervention that she wants, we will hear her,” Yadudu said.
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