All Appeal Cases To Be Heard In Abuja, Lagos — Appeal Court President

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The president of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, has transferred all election petition cases pending before the court in the 36 states to Abuja and Lagos Divisions of the Appellate Court.

All appellate cases arising from the judgement of the various election petition tribunals in the 36 states of the country would be heard and determined in Abuja and Lagos divisions of the Appeal Court.

By this action of Dongban-Mensem, only two of the 20 divisions of the court would determine all appellate cases arising from the judgements of the elections petition tribunals throughout the country.

The order affects gubernatorial, national and state assemblies’ elections.

Dongban-Mensem acted in response to an avalanche of petitions and protests by political parties and their candidates, who allege that the judges of the tribunals were heavily compromised by the governors during the trial stage in their respective states.

Dongban-Mensem was reported to have launched discreet enquiries into the allegations against the governors and the judges of the trial tribunal.

The enquiries established the veracity of the allegations to the extent that an unholy alliance was established between some governors and judges of the tribunals, which led to perversion of justice at the trial level.

Some judges of the tribunals were reportedly indicted and might face trial by the National Judicial Council (NJC).

Hon. Thomas Ereyitomi welcomed the decision, however, lamented its financial implications.

“We have the notice transferring the cases from Delta State to Lagos and we have complied. Its financial implications are huge but no sacrifice is too much to get a fair and impartial judgement,” Ereyitomi said.

It would be recall that following growing tension and its resultant effect from the fallout of election tribunal judgements across Delta State, a pressure group known as Niger Delta Comrades Assembly (NDCA), has called on the Nigeria Judicial Commission (NJC), to relocate all election tribunal appeal hearings in Delta State to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

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