INEC Advises Parties against Prolonged Litigation

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Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has asked politicians and political parties to try and embrace alternative dispute resolution mechanism and avoid frivolous litigations.

The commission also frowned at the increasing disrespect for superior court judgments by politicians, adding that a situation where politicians would return cases already judged by the Appeal and Supreme Courts to the lower courts has continued to affect the commissions determination to ensure a true democratic principles in the country.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmud Yakubu, who spoke while declaring open a two-day capacity building workshop organised by the commission for leaders of political parties yesterday in Abuja regretted that such protracted litigations have stalled the conduct of scheduled elections there making nonsense of INEC’s election time table.

“We must try very hard to reduce the level of litigations among the politicians and political parties, even those cases that have been decided by superior courts are sometimes subjected to further litigations by political parties. Political party leaders must respect judgment of superior courts,” he said.

Yakubu also expressed concern over the disregard for superior court judgments by politicians and political parties, noting that this has denied some people their desire representation at the different levels of government
“It is these unnecessary litigations that have led to the non conduct of the Anambra Central election till date because parties went back to challenge the judgment of superior courts at the lower courts.

“It is also necessary that parties must embrace the alternative dispute resolution process rather than approaching the courts at all times,” Yakubu tasked the political party leaders.

Eariier in her opening remarks, the Commissioner in charge of Political Party Monitoring Committee of INEC, Professor Antonia Okoosi-Simbine, noted that the aim of the two-day workshop was to enhance the capacity of political parties to play their roles in providing the vehicle for presenting competent and credible candidates for elective offices.