PRESIDENT of the Court
of Appeal, Justice Zainab
Bulkachuwa yesterday called
on judicial officers handling
election tribunal cases to
discharge their duties in
accordance with the law.
Bulkachuwa made
the call yesterday at the
commencement of a threeday
retreat for Justices of the
Appeal Court and chairmen
of election petition tribunals
in Abuja.
She said: “Nigerian
judiciary is now in the
limelight and is on trial.
“Let us as judicial officers
discharge the responsibility
reposed on us by dispensing
justice in accordance with the
law, without fear or favour.”
The Appeal Court
President warned the
tribunal members that “they
will be monitored closely”,
adding that her office will
not hesitate to punish any
judge found wanting in the
discharge of his duties.
Bulkachuwa advised
the judges not to allow
technicalities to unduly delay
proceedings of the tribunals
as they are mandated by the
constitution to deliver their
judgment in writing within
180 days from the date of the
filing of the petition.
“The fair and timely
resolution of electoral
disputes is a critical part of
any electoral process”, she
said.
Bulkachuwa further
said that the retreat was a
continuation of the training
programme for the tribunal
judges in view of what she
termed “profound changes
in the electoral process
with the introduction of
the Permanent Voter Cards,
PVCs and Card Readers.”
In a keynote address, a
former President of the
Court, Justice Umaru
Abdullahi lamented alleged
misconduct by some judges
on the Appeal Court’s Bench
in recent times.
He admonished members
of the election tribunals not
to compromise justice this
time around.
“The greatest harm
politicians can do to the
judiciary is to compromise
justice. No compromise this
time around.
“Transparency should be
your watchword. If you do
that we will win the war”,
Abdullahi said.
The Appeal Court, in
collaboration with United
Nations Development
Programme, UNDP,
organised the retreat.


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