President of the Court of Appeal Expresses Concern Over Surge in Election Petitions

President of the Court of Appeal Expresses Concern Over Surge in Election Petitions

The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, has raised alarm over the substantial increase in election petitions arising from the aftermath of the 2023 general election.

She described the situation as overwhelming and noted that it has had a significant impact on the judicial system.

Election Petitions Flood Nigerian Courts: Court of Appeal President Raises Alarm

Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem revealed that a staggering 1,209 petitions emerged from the 2023 general elections, necessitating the establishment of 98 panels of judges to handle these cases.

The sheer volume of election-related litigation has adversely affected the court’s ability to address other matters, including those with economic implications.

Court of Appeal President Criticizes Surge in Election Lawsuits from 2023 General Elections

In a special court session marking the commencement of the 2023/2024 Legal Year in Abuja, Justice Dongban-Mensem expressed deep concerns regarding the rising number of election petitions.

She highlighted that out of the 28 states where governorship elections occurred during the last general elections, only four—Kwara, Niger, Yobe, and Katsina—did not result in litigation.

Judicial System Overwhelmed by Election Petitions: Court of Appeal President’s Concerns

Justice Dongban-Mensem emphasized the economic ramifications of the overwhelming electoral litigation, stating that it has tied down a significant number of judges for extended periods, hindering the timely resolution of other cases, including commercial, industrial, and land-related matters.

She also mentioned the pre-election appeals stemming from primary elections in states with off-cycle governorship elections, emphasizing the need for politicians to prioritize internal democracy and good sportsmanship to reduce the burden on the judicial system.

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