Share this:

Like this:

Like Loading...
" />
Published On: Tue, Jan 29th, 2019

Election petitions: Acting CJN, Tanko warns judges against external pressure

Share This
Tags

By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja

The acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Muhammed Tanko, on Monday, charged judges to handle election petitions without any external pressure or influence either by political parties, stakeholders or economic interest groups.
The charge by the CJN came even as the Chairman of independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu expressed worries over the conflicting judgments arising from pre-election and post-election cases.
Yakubu lamented that the conflicting judgments, especially by courts of co-ordinate jurisdiction at the High Court level, are putting the Commission in a very difficult position and creating uncertainty in the process.
Both the CJN and the INEC Chairman spoke yestetday at the “2019 Workshop on Election Petitions for Justices and Judges’’, held at the National Judicial Institute, NJI, in Abuja.
The workshop was organized by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),.
Justice Tanko, who was represented by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, insisted that the Judiciary must continue to take steps to ensure that it is not seen as being partisan.
He advised the judiciary to always demonstrate manifest integrity in its adjudicatory processes.
The acting CJN said that it was important that the judiciary must maintain absolute independence.
In his words, “Judges should handle election petitions without any external pressure or influence either by political parties, stakeholders or economic interest groups.
“The Judiciary must continue to take steps to ensure that it is not seen as being partisan but must always demonstrate manifest integrity in its adjudicatory processes.
“Consequently, Judicial Officers serving on election petition tribunals, must note that Judgments must not be ambiguous and should be devoid of any form of external influence.
“Your Lordships should shun unnecessary associations with lawyers who may be acting as conduits for politicians no matter how innocent they may be portrayed.
“You must guard your integrity and the integrity of the Judiciary, by avoiding acts that will bring you under the disciplinary jurisdiction of the National Judicial Council (NJC).
“The NJC will not hesitate to wield the big stick sanctions to any judicial officer who is found wanting in the discharge his duties”, Tanko said.
Justice Tanko further admonished that the judiciary must not be drawn into black-hole of political expediency as Judges were not willing tools to be exploited by the whims and caprices of Politicians.
He urged Justices and Judges to refrain from granting frivolous injunctions, remain impartial and most importantly, shun any form of inducement while carrying out their mandates.
The acting CJN maintained that while INEC has the responsibility to conduct and manage election, the Judiciary on its part is charged with the responsibility of resolving disputes arising from the process.
Speaking also at the workshop, the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who was represented by National Commissioner, Mrs May Abamuche_Mbu, expressed concern on issue of conflicting judgments arising from pre-election and post-election cases.
Yakubu said that conflicting judgments, especially by courts of co-ordinate jurisdiction at the High Court level, are putting the Commission in a very difficult position and creating uncertainty in the process.
According to him, “Conflicting court orders are negatively affecting the consistency, neutrality, and public perception, not only of the Commission, but the Judiciary as well.
“There is therefore the urgent need to address the issue of conflicting judgments in order to engender certainty in the electoral process.”

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

%d bloggers like this: