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Numerous Election Petitions Weighty On The Judiciary, Says SAN

Ananaba said there should be a thorough amendment of the Electoral Act.


Prof. Paul Ananaba (SAN) on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Wednesday, September 20, 2023.

 

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Prof. Paul Ananaba, says the judiciary is under a lot of pressure to respond to the numerous election petitions.

Ananaba, who was a guest on Wednesday’s Sunrise Daily on Channels Television, asserted that the justices are humans and are overwhelmed with handling of every single one of the filed election petitions.

“We have more because in one election cycle, you will be getting up to six, seven, eight hundred cases in the form of petitions either pre or post-election issues.

“It puts so much weight on the judiciary. It’s just like playing football, if out of the 90 minutes, 80 minutes are played within the half of a particular team they either concede a goal or they have a penalty and all that – that is what you see.

“Look at the Supreme Court, how many cases does the US (United States) Supreme Court take in a year? But now our Supreme Court is handling presidential, most of the governorship and all that. If you add that to the number of Supreme Court cases we have today, it’s baffling,” he said.

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The senior lawyer pleaded to Nigerians and politicians who had filed multiple lawsuits to assist in lightening the load on the system, adding that electoral reforms in the Electoral Act would gradually lead to fewer lawsuits.

“Let us start pulling back a bit. We need electoral reforms if you don’t want the judiciary to be so overloaded — look at our Court of Appeals, how many election appeals are going to be heard? the regular court cases are also there. What do you want them to do? They are human beings, they would not have all the time to look at matters.

“Cases filed in 2010 have not been heard at the Supreme Court – many of them It has not gotten to their turn – 13 years. Let us who are Nigerians, who are politicians begin to help the system also, reduce the burden,” he said.

According to Ananaba, within the legislature, there should be a thorough amendment of the Electoral Act.

“The electoral act is still far away from what I think, a thorough amendment of the Electoral Act will bring fewer litigation and thorough interpretation,” he said.