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We’ve to address our inadequacies in 2023 elections’ rulings –CJN

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, has said that the 2023 general elections opened a new vista in the adjudication of political…

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, has said that the 2023 general elections opened a new vista in the adjudication of political matters and threw up things for the judiciary to review.

He spoke at the opening of a two-day workshop for judges on the review of the 2023 election petition tribunals/court and appeals on Monday in Abuja.

He said the workshop provided an opportunity to review things that might have been done with the best of intention and professionalism.

He said, “No doubt, the adjudication on the 2023 election petitions came with varied challenges that have to be critically assessed and reviewed in order to forge a much better way forward.

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“In those areas we have done well, we can literally eulogise ourselves and strive to improve on them, as self-praise is no viler an offender than self-denial.

“As for those areas that our inadequacies are manifestly obvious, we have to properly address them and bring on board new methods and approaches that would whet our appetite for success.

“We must intensify efforts in engaging in those activities that will earn us more accolades than villifications.”

Speaking on the pressure from political matters under the time frame provided by the electoral laws, he noted the kind of attention and emotions attached to political matters in Nigeria “have collectively made our work more excruciating, painstaking and sometimes endangering as we are occasionally exposed to threats, especially from some elements within the political fold.”

“But like I would always say, no amount of threat or intimidation should make a thoroughbred judicial officer deviate from the law and pander to public sentiments and emotions which are often misplaced,” he added.

Earlier, the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, listed areas in the Nigerian constitution and the electoral laws that would require legislative review in preparation for the 2027 general elections to include sections 187 of the Nigerian Constitution, 1999; and sections 233, 246 and paragraph 285 of the Electoral Act, 2022.

Similarly, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), said the review was necessary as the findings and recommendations would provide appropriate guidance for stakeholders going forward to the next electoral cycle.

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