*As A’Court President warns against frivolous adjournments, technicalities
By Ezeocha Nzeh, with agency reports
President of the Court of Appeal (PCA), Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, on Wednesday, disclosed that over 250 Judges handling election petition cases across the federation have been placed on watch list.
Justice Bulkachiwa said the judges are being “closely monitored”, warning that any of them found wanting in the discharge of his or her duties, would be sanctioned.
The PCA made the disclosure at thw flag-off of an induction programme for judges of the Appeal Court who will serve as chairmen and members of the Election Petition Tribunals.
She warned the tribunal judges not to grant frivolous adjournments or allow undue technicalities that could unnecessary delay the dispensation of petitions brought before them.
She said: “The Judiciary has been a key player in the sustenance of democracy in Nigeria by adjudicating in all cases that arise from pre-election as well as post-election activities.
“By the end of this week, we will all be in our various states for the tribunals and the appeals that will follow suit by the aggrieved parties.
“I need not remind you that the assignments ahead of you is enormous and due diligence and professionalism is expected from each and every one of you.
“Always be law abiding and do not allow yourselves to be stirred by emotions, fear or sentiments. You are expected to be in charge of your courts.
“The Judiciary is in the lime light and as Judicial officers we should discharge the responsibilities reposed on us both individually and collectively by dispensing justice in accordance with the law without fear or favour, affection or ilI-will, within the dictates of our conscience and oath of office.
“Let me remind you that in an Election Petition Tribunal time is of the essence, I therefore urge you to desist from granting frivolous adjournments and also discourage the practice of employing undue technicalities or any act capable of causing delay in the dispensation of petitions before you.
“Like I have said before, each and every one of you will be closely monitored by my office and I will not hesitate to descend on any Judge found wanting in the discharge of his or her duties.
“By the end of this induction, you will all be abreast with what is expected of you and I am sure by the time you resume at your duty posts, you will be ready to carry out the tasks assiduously.
“Feel free to interact with your colleagues in areas that are unclear to you especially those of you that are coming to tribunals for the first time.
“Forums like these are meant for discussions and exchange of ideas so that by the end of the day, we would have tapped from each other’s knowledge and experience, and we will be wiser and better equipped to meet the tasks ahead of us”.