End Court Forum-Shopping

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IT has become the norm with the opening of every electoral season to see an avalanche of conflicting court orders from courts of coordinate jurisdictions.

Rather than appeal, desperate politicians leave their natural judicial zones for faraway places to obtain ex-parte court injunctions to counter orders already given by courts of the same rank.

In the case of the PDP, a Rivers State High Court granted an ex-parte ruling restraining Uche Secondus from parading himself as the party’s chairman on August 24, 2021.

This shows that after 23 years of our return to democracy, the political parties and politicians are far from evolving into a democratic culture that respects their constitutions and internal mechanisms for conflict resolution. Desperation is the rule of the day.

Our concern is that this desperate forum-shopping makes the work of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, very difficult and more expensive to the taxpayer than it should be because INEC is bound to obey all court orders.

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When we do these things, let us be reminded that the world is watching. The ability of the judiciary to do justice without fear or favour is a major determinant of the choice made by investors in considering any country. We are destroying our country because of personal greed.

If they were proactive with the implementation of regulations, enough lessons would have been learned by judges and lawyers to minimise forum-shopping.

Vanguard Editorial

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