Constitutional lawyer, Fred Agbaje
By Shola Oyeyipo
Constitutional lawyer, Fred Agbaje has observed that the reduction in litigation on election matters in the country was not out of improved standards but the erosion of the confidence of the people in getting justice through election tribunals due to weakened legal provisions.
He said the amendments to the Electoral Act and other laws that are relevant in election matters have made it had for aggrieved parties to get justice, leading to frustrations which discourages litigants from approaching the courts.
Agbaje who spoke exclusively to THISDAY on the reduction in the rate of electoral litigation and expulsion of public office holders who fraudulently attained office Friday, said: “The sudden reduction in electoral litigation is an artificial creation that does not imply that many people are not aggrieved with election results” but that the prevailing constitutional provisions do not guarantee victory for aggrieved persons seeking redress and that as such, they are no longer inclined to seek justice.
According to him, the interpretation, as well as the amendment of the electoral act has debilitating effects on the rights of the aggrieved to seek redress in the court, adding, “If you look at Section 87 of the new electoral act as amended, which states that all matter must end in six months; with this kind of obnoxious constitutional provision, an aggrieved candidate, either governorship or senatorial, would feel threatened. How does he meet this ungodly factor, an inhibiting factor?”