Elections: Federal High Court judges get fresh order
Justice John Tsoho, Chief Judge of the Federal High Court (FHC) of Nigeria, has ordered all judges handling pre-election matters to continue sitting during the vacation period until judgment is delivered.
He gave the order on Tuesday in a new practice direction entitled: “Federal High Court of Nigeria Practice Directions (No. 2) 2020″.
The circular was released by FHC Acting Information Officer, Oby Catherine.
The court’s annual vacation bagan on July 27 and would end on September 25.
Tsoho relied on Section 254 of the 1999 constitution (as amended) and pursuant to the provision of Section 2(10) (Fourth Alteration, No.21 – Act 2017), which amended the provision of Section 285 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 in the new direction are as follows: “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 judgment 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;
“In cases where a party on record petitions as in above, such petition shall be accompanied by an affidavit verifying the contents of the petition;
“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.”
Also, 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.