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Federal High Court Gets New Practice Directions On Pre-Election Matters

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The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Justice John Tsoho has issued new Practice Directions on pre-election matters for all 36 divisions of the court across the country.

The court’s acting Information Officer, Oby Nwandu, announced this in a statement on Tuesday.

She explained that the practice directions were made in the exercise of the power conferred on the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court by Section 254 of the Constitution.

The practice directions, according to her, mandate all trial courts in every pre-election matter to deliver judgment within 180 days from the date of filing the suit.

Nwandu stated that the practice directions which were made on Friday last week already took effect from the same day.

Read the full statement below:

The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, The Honourable Justice John Terhemba Tsoho has issued new Practice Directions, entitled:

FEDERAL HIGH COURT OF NIGERIA, PRACTICE DIRECTIONS (NO. 2) 2020.

Its objective, as stated in the preamble is that, it is issued:

In the exercise of the power conferred on the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria by Section 254 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,1999 (as amended) and pursuant to the provision of Section 2(10) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Fourth Alteration, No.21) Act 2017, which amends the provision of Section 285 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) mandating all trial courts in every pre-election matter to deliver judgment within 180 days from the date of filing the suit.

The salient provisions contained therein are as follows:

That These Practice Direction shall, save to the extent and as may otherwise be ordered by the Honourable Chief Judge, apply to all pre-election matters filed before the Federal High Court of Nigeria.

Nothing in the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019 shall prevent a Judge of the Court from hearing a pre-election matter already pending before the Court, during the vacation period until judgement is delivered.

(i) No petition shall be entertained against a Judge of the Court hearing a pre-election matter, save from a party on record in such matter.

(ii) Where a party on record petitions as in (i) above, such petition shall be accompanied by an affidavit verifying the contents of the petition.

(iii) the party shall cause same to be served on the Judge and all parties on record, notwithstanding that the petition is addressed to the Honourable,  the Chief Judge of the Court.

(iv) Where the petition is addressed to the Honourable, the Chief Judge, the proof of service of the advanced copies on all parties on record and the Judge concerned shall accompany the petition.”

The Practice Directions, made at Abuja and dated on Friday, the 24th day of July, 2020 also took effect from that same date.

Signed.

Acting Information Officer,

Oby Catherine Nwandu

For: The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria.

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Edo Elections: PDP Protests Siege on Governors By Security Agents

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) protests the clampdown on its governors by security agents in Benin City, Edo state capital, ahead of Saturday’s governorship election.

The national leadership of the party, in a press conference addressed by the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, alerted the nation and the international community of the security siege on PDP governors in their lodging in Benin City.

The party expressed shock that security agents were detailed to surround the lodging of our governors to harass and intimidate them, whereas APC governors, including the governor of Kano state, Abdullahi Ganduje, his Imo state counterpart, Hope Uzodimma as well as the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, are left free in the comfort of the residence of the sacked national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole in GRA, Benin City.

Our party considers this siege as provocative and completely unacceptable as there cannot be two sets of laws for the citizens of our nation. In as much as the APC governors are given the liberty to stay in Benin City, our governors must not be harassed or stampeded to leave the state.

At any rate, we are confident that our governors will not allow themselves to be stampeded.

The PDP calls on all stakeholders in the Edo governorship election, particularly the security agencies, to work towards a peaceful, credible, transparent, free and fair election on Saturday.

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Edo Guber: Youth Leader Canvass For Peaceful Poll, Charged Youths To Desist From Violence 

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A youth leader in Kaduna state and convener of Youths Arise in Democracy Now,  Hon James Makeri  has on all the gubernatorial candidates of all the political parties participating in the September 19, 2020 election not to use youths as agent of destruction during the polls.

Hon Makeri made the statement today while answering questions in an exclusive interview with Kabido Newspaper in Kaduna.

He said that ” my message to Edo youths to particularly not to allow themselves to be use in thuggery and other crimes which will affect the election negatively”.

” Also the main contenders that is Governor Godwin Obasakie and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu should allow the electorate to vote for their choice as there is no victor or vanquished in the election as it is the will of the people which must be respected by all.

He added that Nigeria is evolving and both the youths and elder state men must as a matter of patriotism give way to peace for democracy to flourish in the country.

Hon Makeri further called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be steadfast and honest in the conduct of the election in order to entrench democratic norms in the country.

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NBA Closely Monitoring Edo Election, Says Aikpokpo Martins

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The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) says it is closely monitoring the activities leading to the governorship election in Edo State.

NBA First Vice President, John Aikpokpo-Martins, disclosed this on Thursday during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily in Abuja.

He explained that the body is satisfied with the peaceful manner political actors have conducted themselves so far.

“The NBA does not have the resources to follow up from the beginning to the end. As an association, this particular team was set up to observe from tomorrow till the election will be over; that is to say to the announcement of the result.

“However, we have been watching and observing all that is going on. For now, we are satisfied to the extent that the parties have conducted themselves very well, they have campaigned hard,” he said.

Speaking on the possibility of violence in the polls, the legal practitioner said there have been allegations of “threat to violence but not actual violence yet.”

The NBA leader said the allegations and counter-allegations do not automatically translate to violence on the election day.

Aikpokpo-Martins, who is also an indigene of Edo State, said the state does not have a history of violence in previous elections.

Although he admitted that the political atmosphere is tensed with the “temperature very high,” he is however optimistic of a peaceful conduct of the exercise on September 19.

“The security is very tight now. There are a lot of soldiers, a lot of policemen on the streets. I am very sure that will dissuade merchants of violence from going out to disrupt the election in a violent way,” he said.

His remarks come two days after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate and incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki embraced his main rival and contender in the poll, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The duo beaming with smiles warmly hugged each other, an indication that they have decided to toe the line of peace and avoid unnecessary bloodshed in the election.

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