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Disqualification of Deputy Governor: Stakeholders Seek Amendment of 1999 Constitution



Stakeholders have called for amendment of Section 187 of the 1999 Constitution to include that the disqualification or non-qualification of a Deputy Governor shall not affect the Governor-elect or Governorship Candidate of a Political Party.

This is contained in a communique issued at the end of a two- day workshop on review of the 2023 Election Petition Tribunals/Court and Appeals.

The communique was presented by Mr Kabiru Akanbi, the deputy Chief Registrar court of appeal Headquarters and Head Election Petitions Tribunal (EPT) .

Participants also agreed that Section 246 (3) of the extant constitution should be altered to reflect the finality of decisions of the Court of Appeal in all election appeals, governorship appeals inclusive.

“All Pre-Election appeals should terminate at the Court of Appeal.
” The constitution should be amended to provide that all pre and post-election matters shall be heard and determined before the winners of the election take the oath of office” the communique read.
They also resolved that paragraph 25 (2) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act that deals with Quorum be incorporated into Section 285 of the Constitution of the FRN 1999 (as amended) to read as follows:

” If the Chairman of the Tribunal or the
presiding justice of the court who begins the hearing of an election petition is disabled by illness or otherwise, the hearing may be recommended and concluded by another Chairman of the Tribunal or presiding justice of the Court appointed by the appropriate authority.

Other sections of the Constitution according to the participants should be amended to address some issues in election matters.

Some participants also called for the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to be introduced into the nation’s Electoral Laws.

They further suggested that pre-election matters should be encouraged to be mediated upon through ADR by the Court.

The number of Justices of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, participants said should be increased to make justice accessible to the Nigerian people

” The negative publicity in which the Judiciary is portrayed in bad light by the social media and other forces associated with it should be countered by a robust communications/media department to be established by the respective Courts.

” In conclusion, the judiciary performed its constitutional role as an impartial arbiter and protector of the rule of law and will continue to do so in our nation’s journey and quest to build a truly democratic society”, they said.

The workshop was organised by the Court of Appeal and supported by the United State Agency for International Development (USAID), European Union, (EU).

Others are Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), and Policy and Legal
Advocacy Center (PLAC).

The workshop featured resource persons drawn from the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Civil Society Organisations.

Speaking to NAN, Mr Simon Halliday, a participant expressed delight on the idea behind the workshop and prayed that the resolutions would be implemented.

“There is no end to the extent improvement should be done, we will continue to review all we have done in order to get it better next time.

” I am particularly pleased with the way the court of appeal president, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN interacted with participants.

” I am also delighted to hear the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Olukayode Ariwoola’s strong keynote address” (NAN)

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