Appeal Court President to EJMC: Let’s enhance integrity of our electoral process

President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Dongban Mensem, has restated the need to improve the credibility and integrity of the country’s electoral process.

He made the declaration Wednesday at the inauguration of members of the Electoral Judicial Manual Committee (EJMC).

She said the move is aimed at enhancing transparency in the dispensation of justice in Nigeria’s court.

The new initiative has the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the European Union (EU) and its partners Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), International Federation for Electoral System (IFES) as development partners.

Mensem described the feat as another step forward in the annals of the court and charged the committee to provide a quick reference material for all strata of judges and all persons involved in the electoral adjudicatory process.

The manual, according to her, will be a guide on frequently litigated electoral issues.

She said conflicting decisions can be drastically reduced if not totally eliminated via the new move.

“I have painstakingly picked each of you from your track record of hard work. I am confident that you will do a very good job, having regards to experience and expertise not only in electoral matters, but also in general judicial administration.

“As you commence 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.

“This will ensure good collaboration, coherence and consistency in our electoral process.

“The Electoral Judicial Manual shall be a quick reference book for Judges, Justices, Lawyers and the lay persons as well.

“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 utilising its rich contents.

“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.”