Federal High Court Gets New Practice Directions on Pre-Election Matters

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The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Justice John Tsoho has issued new Practice Directions on pre-election matters for all 36 divisions of the court across the country.

The court’s acting Information Officer, Oby Nwandu, announced this in a statement on Tuesday.

She explained that the practice directions were made in the exercise of the power conferred on the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court by Section 254 of the Constitution.

The practice directions, according to her, mandate all trial courts in every pre-election matter to deliver judgment within 180 days from the date of filing the suit.

Nwandu stated that the practice directions which were made on Friday last week already took effect from the same day.

Read the full statement below:

The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, The Honourable Justice John Terhemba Tsoho has issued new Practice Directions, entitled:

FEDERAL HIGH COURT OF NIGERIA, PRACTICE DIRECTIONS (NO. 2) 2020.

Its objective, as stated in the preamble is that, it is issued:

In the exercise of the power conferred on the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria by Section 254 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,1999 (as amended) and pursuant to the provision of Section 2(10) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Fourth Alteration, No.21) Act 2017, which amends the provision of Section 285 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) mandating all trial courts in every pre-election matter to deliver judgment within 180 days from the date of filing the suit.

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The salient provisions contained therein are as follows:

That These Practice Direction shall, save to the extent and as may otherwise be ordered by the Honourable Chief Judge, apply to all pre-election matters filed before the Federal High Court of Nigeria.

Nothing in the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019 shall prevent a Judge of the Court from hearing a pre-election matter already pending before the Court, during the vacation period until judgement is delivered.

(i) No petition shall be entertained against a Judge of the Court hearing a pre-election matter, save from a party on record in such matter.

(ii) Where a party on record petitions as in (i) above, such petition shall be accompanied by an affidavit verifying the contents of the petition.

(iii) the party shall cause same to be served on the Judge and all parties on record, notwithstanding that the petition is addressed to the Honourable,  the Chief Judge of the Court.

(iv) Where the petition is addressed to the Honourable, the Chief Judge, the proof of service of the advanced copies on all parties on record and the Judge concerned shall accompany the petition.”

The Practice Directions, made at Abuja and dated on Friday, the 24th day of July, 2020 also took effect from that same date.

Signed.

Acting Information Officer,

Oby Catherine Nwandu

For: The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria.

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