Why Retired Judges Should Handle Election Petition – Falana

Femi Falana

Human right activist and lawyer, Femi Falana, has called for election petitions to be handled by retired Judges.

Falana explained that serving judges have a lot on their table, hence the reason for the delay in delivering judgment.

Speaking via a communique he released on Thursday, Falana said it is better to leave the serving judges with the national matter they have been saddled with.

The statement reads “Over 350 Judges drawn from State High Courts, Federal High Court, and National Industrial Court and handling election petitions have adjourned all matters pending in their courts’ sine die. Their Lordships and Ladyships are said to have left their jurisdictions for “national assignment” in other parts of the country.

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“Apart from appeals arising from pre-election cases and election petitions, both the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court are adjourning all pending appeals till 2020 and 2021. The vacation of the Justices of the Court of Appeal has been cancelled to enable them to handle election-related appeals.

“Since all litigants are equal before the law it is high time the preference given to election petitions and appeals by Nigerian courts was reviewed. In some neighbouring African countries, election petitions are not handled by regular courts but by constitutional courts.

“It is therefore suggested that the Constitution be amended to allow retired judges to handle election petitions and appeals arising from them. If our retired judges can handle arbitral matters and participate in judicial commissions of inquiry they should be saddled with the responsibility to handle election petitions and appeals arising from them.”



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