Election Petition: Appeal Court President Threatens to Deal with Erring Judges

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Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa

Alex Enumah in Abuja

The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, on Wednesday warned that the court will not hesitate to deal decisively with any chairman or member of the Election Petitions Tribunal found wanting in the discharge of his or her duties.

Bulkachuwa maintained that the judiciary plays a crucial role in sustaining the nation’s democracy, hence the judges should be thorough and professional in deciding election issues brought before them.

She gave the warning while speaking at the induction programme for justices of the Court of Appeal, chairmen and members of the Election Petitions Tribunals.

She also warned the judges to avoid the temptation of taking sides through the granting of frivolous and unnecessary adjournments, adding that her office would pay close attention to the proceedings of the various tribunals.

According to her, “By the end of this week, we will all be in our various states for the tribunals and the appeals that will follow suit by the aggrieved parties.

“I need not remind you that the assignment ahead of you is enormous and due diligence and professionalism is expected from each and everyone of you.

“The judiciary is in the limelight and as judicial officers, we should discharge the responsibilities proposed on us both individually and collectively by dispensing justice in accordance with the law without fear or favour, affection or ill-will within the dictates of our conscience and oath of office.

“Like I have said before, each and everyone of you will be monitored by my office and I will not hesitate to descend on any judge found wanting in the discharge of his or her duties.”

Bulkachuwa also charged the officers to be law abiding and not allow themselves to be stirred by emotions, fear or sentiments, saying they are expected to be in charge of their courts.