The Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Annual General Conference Planning Committee, Mazi Afam Osigwe, SAN has weighed in on the topic, “Tyranny and Dictatorship of Election Petition: Where is Justice?”

The Bar Leader spoke at the ongoing NBA Section on Legal Practice Annual Conference which held today at NBA House, Abuja.

Osigwe stated that a significant number of electoral disputes find their way to the courts, adding that concerns are being raised regarding the approach taken by judges who often prioritize technicalities over substantive issues.

He noted that this approach has led to the growing impression that individual votes hold little significance, and that corruption has permeated the electoral process.

The former NBA General Secretary said that the prevalence of contradictory judgments undermines the credibility of the judicial system, adding that there is the need for fairness and alignment of court decisions with the principles of natural justice.

He stated that posting of judges outside their jurisdiction to preside over election-related cases has led to lack of expertise and understanding of local dynamics and outcomes that may be perceived as unjust, adding that many instances of misconduct and disrepute within the legal profession originate from election matters. He emphasized the need to address these challenges and amend laws to enhance electoral justice.

He stressed the importance of laying emphasis on Chapter Two of the Nigerian Constitution which highlights the fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy, and urged a more holistic approach to electoral reforms that encompass not only legal fundamentals but also broader societal principles.

Osigwe underscored the importance of fair judicial decisions that shun technicalities and reflect the ideals of justice, adding that there is a need to ensure proper assignment of judges and address issues that bring odium to the legal profession.

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