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Amend Electoral Act To Deal With Prolonged Election Litigations, NASS Urged



The National Assembly has been urged to amend the Electoral Act to deal with the issue of prolonged litigation of pre-election matters.

This was part of resolutions reached at the end of a  webinar organised by the Centre For Peace And Development (CEPAD) in collaboration with Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung.

In a communique signed at the end of the webinar, the participants suggested that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) be given administrative adjudication powers in pre-election  disputes with a definite time frame for resolution of such disputes.

The communiqué which was signed by CEPAD Director, Rev Fr  Innocent Jooji, also called for the establishment of specialised election tribunals that are independent of the mainstream judiciary to oversee election and election-related litigation.

The participants said this will allow judges who oversee such tribunals to concentrate squarely on election related petitions without being encumbered by other matters.

LEADERSHIP Sunday reports that participants at the Webinar were drawn from the academia, students and the media.

The webinar with the theme “When The Court Casts The Final Vote: Examining The Implications Of Election Litigations In Nigeria’s Emerging Democracy- 2019 In Focus”, highlighted the impact election litigation has had on the political landscape of Nigeria

The communiqué reads in part, “We call for the continued training and retraining of judges to help build their capacity for election adjudication in order to ensure fair and just determination of electoral matters.

“We call on INEC to re-evaluate its primary responsibility as the regulator of elections in Nigeria with the view to implementing its quasi-legislative and quasi-judiciary powers in election matters, thereby decreasing the role of the courts in pre-election, election and post election disputes.

“We likewise use this medium to call on the National Assembly to commence the amendment of the Electoral Act, especially the inclusion of electronic transmission of results from the polling units and other provisions whose inadequacies have been exposed by the interpretations and pronouncements of the court.