The Federal High Court of Nigeria, Tuesday, issued direction for pre-election cases in Nigeria.
A statement signed by the acting Information Officer of the court, Oby Catherine Nwandu, entitled: Federal High Court of Nigeria, Practice Directions (NO. 2) 2020, advised judges to complete pre-election matters in their courts even during vacation period.
The statement said the directive becomes imperative for the fact that election matters have a 180-day life span.
According to the statement: “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.
“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.
“Where a party on record petitions as in above, such petition shall be accompanied by an affidavit verifying the contents of the petition.”
The statement maintained that “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.”
It said 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 statement added that the direction was in 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 federal high courts across the country started their annual vacation from July 27 to September 27.