Election Tribunal: Group Challenges CJN On Open Judicial Process

As the 2023 election tribunal begins daily sittings, several integrity groups have joined in the call for the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwola, to introduce an open judicial process towards determining the successful outcome.

In a statement issued by an election monitoring group under the aegis of Election Hub, an open judicial process should be introduced to ensure good conduct of all concerned including Judges and political parties, who are expected to uphold values of neutrality and fairness towards saving Nigeria’s democracy.

Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had days back demanded that the court proceedings be televised live to enable Nigerians to have knowledge of the court process.

According to the statement signed by Princess Hamman-Obels Director, IRIAD-The Electoral Hub, “there is the need that the Election Tribunal process be made public to ensure transparency and openness as this would enhance fairness and credibility.

The statement further read in part

“We also urge groups participating in the tribunal process to be professional in their activities towards building a new Nigeria. We also urge the media, and other civil society actors to disseminate the right information by deploying fact-checking tools to prevent misinforming the general public. Ultimately, the Election Petition Tribunal is not only important for its role in determining the final outcome of the 2023 general elections but could also revive public trust in Nigerian democracy.

“As previous experiences have shown, tribunal rulings could either nullify the election or uphold the results of the polls by dismissing petitions, making it almost as important as the voting process itself. It is, therefore, important that the judicial process in the election tribunals is conducted in conformity with extant provisions to produce just outcomes. This points to two critical issues which stakeholders must not lose sight of as the judicial process proceeds.

“These include the need for compliance with extant legislations guiding the process, and the need for an ‘unbiased’ and open judiciary.

“Recognizing the above and in line with The commitment to promoting electoral knowledge, accountability, and electoral integrity, we call on all stakeholders to discharge their duties conscientiously and conform with the rule of law.



“We specifically call on the judicial panellists, political parties and their candidates, civil society actors and organisations, and the general public to take steps towards ensuring the credibility of the election judicial process.

“Our expectations are that the Judicial Panel should strictly adhere to the ethics of the Bench and legal profession, by acting in compliance with the guiding principles of the Bench, displaying neutrality and upholding principles of the rule of law.

“Also, it is expected that it should comply with legal frameworks guiding election adjudication at all times.

“Avoid all actions that may be perceived as unfair and biased. Justice should not only be done but also seen to be done.

“It is also necessary to advise that Political Parties and Candidates should avoid inciteful comments that could heat up the polity, ignite violence and threaten lives and properties.

“They should be ready to respect the laws guiding the process and also be willing to accept the outcome of the process

“Civil Society Organizations must Engage judicial, political, and electoral stakeholders to ensure compliance with relevant legal frameworks. It should be able to monitor the process to ensure fairness and openness through sustained advocacy or other best practices and should support the process with research and information about best practices and create awareness by disseminating relevant information to curb misinformation and fake news about the process through fact-checking and sharing correct information.

“Monitor the process and provide accurate reportage of proceedings Create awareness and educate the public Ensure fairness and openness of the process through sustained media advocacy Collaborate with CSOs in curbing misinformation and fake news about the process.

“As a civil rights movement, we urge the Citizens to also discharge their civic responsibilities by closely following the process and engaging issues with patriotism Demand for accountability and transparency from actors and institutions involved in the 2023 electoral judicial process. Nigerian citizens must also engage stakeholders to ensure compliance with relevant legal frameworks to ensure good conduct while exercising active citizenship as Nigerians


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