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SANs, CUPP Push For Electoral Act Amendment



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Some Senior Advocates of Nigeria and the Coalition for United Political Parties have called for an amendment to the Electoral Act.

This came following the judgment delivered by the apex court on the Zamfara, Kano, and Plateau governorship election appeals.

In Zamfara, the appeal court declared the election inconclusive, in Kano, the governor was sacked after scores from ballot papers not signed, stamped, and dated were deducted from his scores, and in Plateau, the court sacked the governor and all lawmakers elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party because the party failed to obey court order directing it to conduct a fresh congress.

The justices of the apex court upturned these judgments, describing them as perverse.

Specifically, while delivering judgment in the Plateau appeal, Justice Emmanuel Agim urged the court to brace up to remain relevant in society.

He said, “The petition by the APC and its candidates is an abuse of court process. I wonder why the matter came to court at all. This appeal is allowed. The legal profession should wake up or render itself irrelevant. The judgment of the court of appeal is set aside. ”

In addition, Justice John Okoro, who was also on the panel, expressed concern for those who have suffered a miscarriage of justice at the lower court.

He said, “My only worry is that a lot of people have suffered as a result of the Court of Appeal’s decision. It was wrong. The appeal is allowed.”

Other justices on the panel took turn to fault the decision of the court of appeal.

Speaking in an interview with our correspondent on Sunday, Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume, SAN said the 2023 general election was marred by injustice.

He, however, called for a fresh approach to resolve electoral litigation.

Ume said, “The whole gamut of elections in 2023 seems to have been fraught with a lot of injustice. I need you to feel the pulses of the Labour Party, PDP, and Allied Peoples Movement members in their election petitions. There is a need to consider another approach in our electoral litigation.

” I am thinking that while the National Assembly is moving us up there to refine our electoral system to make it more manageable, election petitioners should no longer be seen as busybodies instead of social crusaders. ”

Also, speaking, Adegoke Rasheed, SAN, suggested either legislative intervention or a shift in the judicial approach to provide relief for those who have experienced a miscarriage of justice.

He said, “This is not an indictment on the judiciary, neither is it an indictment on the court of appeal. There are several other cases decided by the court that have been upheld by the apex court. So when the court of appeal is found not to be correct. The warning by the justices is to ensure that the judiciary self-regulates itself.

“As regards people who have suffered a miscarriage of justice, in taking care of such in the future, we can call for a legislative intervention or change the judicial approach. ”

On its part, the CUPP in a statement on Sunday by its National Secretary, Peter Ameh, called for the amendment of the constitution to allow all National Assembly appeals to terminate at the apex court.

He said, “CUPP hereby calls on the National Assembly to commence without delay the amendment of Sections 233. (1)(e) and 246. (1)(3) of the 1999 Constitution as Amended to extend appellate jurisdiction for State and National Assembly election disputes to the Supreme Court to avert a repeat of the disaster of injustices meted to the validly elected National and State Assembly Members of PDP and Labour Party extraction from Plateau, Enugu, Abia, and other states.

“This call has become necessary due to the irreparable damage caused to the elected members who have been unjustly removed from their legitimate seats by the Court of Appeal despite the plethora of earlier decided and settled cases by the Supreme Court court, which by the doctrine of stare decisis binds the Court of Appeal.”

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