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Appeal Court president inaugurates electoral judicial manual committee

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The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem on Wednesday inaugurated a 13member Electoral Judicial Manual Committee (EJMC).

Dongban-Mensem said that the objective of the EJM was to provide a quick reference material for all strata of Judges and all persons involved in the electoral adjudicatory process.

” Our aspiration is that the manual will be a guide on frequently litigated electoral issues so that conflicting decisions can be drastically reduced if not totally eliminated.

” In the past, the manual was titled Manual for Election Petition Tribunals which gives it a restrictive connotation thereby limiting its usage and discouraging other electoral stake holders from accessing and utilizing its rich contents

” The EJM is thus a vital quick reference guide and reference material for all levels of Judges in the discharge of their duties in the election year.

“It is common knowledge that all elections in Nigeria are always followed by endless litigation, she said.

Dongban-Mensem said members of the committee were carefully selected having regards to their experience and expertise not only in electoral matters but also in general judicial administration.

” It is my expectation that the exercise will culminate in the production of the Maiden Edition of the EJM which is designed to prepare our judicial system for the enormous task imminent with the 2023 elections in focus.

” The members of this committee were carefully selected having regards to their experience and expertise not only in electoral matters but also in general judicial administration.

“As you begin this historic assignment, it is pertinent to consider the extant decisions of the Courts and Tribunals in the light of the Electoral Act, 2022 and the recommendations of electoral observers such as our partners and other critical stakeholders’ she said.

She said in the past, the manual was titled Manual for Election Petition Tribunals which gives it a restrictive connotation thereby limiting its usage and discouraging other electoral stake holders from accessing and utilizing its rich contents.

She said their assignment is collate, edit and enlarge.

” It is our conviction that when people generally understand the basic concept, the decisions of the Tribunals and the Courts will be better appreciated.

” This is why your assignment is no mean job. It is intense and will be very demanding,” she said.

” I am pleased to inform you that the European Union (EU) and its partners Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) in collaboration with International Federation for Electoral System (IFES) have offered to sponsor the production of the Electoral Judicial Manual, she said.

Reports have it that Justice Ignatius Agube is the chairman of the committee.

Other members among others are Justices PO Ige, Emeka Nwite, Sylvanus Oriji and Elizabeth Oji.

Speaking on behalf of the members, committee,Justice  Agube, JCA, thanked Dongban-Mensem for the confidence reposed in them.

“By the Grace of God we will discharge our duties to His Glory and the glory of Nigeria,” he said.

He urged members of the committee to put heads together and do the best they can to execute a lasting legacy on the Electoral Process in Nigeria.

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