2023: Prioritise substance over technicalities to ensure justice, Forum tells Judiciary

The Electoral Forum has emphasized that judicial decisions on elections should prioritize substance over technicalities to ensure that justice is not perverted on the basis of technicalities and that people do not lose faith in the judiciary as the last hope of the common man.

In a statement issued by the Chairman, Professor Adebayo Olukoshi, said that as they did with INEC and security, which led to improvements in election management in Nigeria, civil society organizations (CSOs) should now focus on engagement with the judiciary to facilitate wholesome reform.

Prof Olukoshi who noted this at the just concluded Electoral Forum’s Eighth Technical Session was held via Zoom platform supported by OSIWA, said there is improvements in the conduct of security agencies in elections, as seen in the governorship elections in Osun and Ekiti, also reflect this trend.

“To prepare judicial officers for future elections, civil society organizations should work with the National Judicial Institute.

“One of the lessons from the Supreme Court decision is that INEC should promptly publish political party monitoring reports and make them publicly available as a way to deter those looking to influence legal proceedings and those who might want to take advantage of technicalities to thwart justice and fairness in the electoral process.

“Technicalities in electoral Court decisions should be well described to avoid misunderstandings and foster a greater awareness of these topics, particularly among the electorate.

“Recent events highlight the urgent need for legal system reform and a reassessment of our laws and their application. There is the immediate need for the Federal High Court to review its Practice Direction, particularly on the mode of commencement of pre-election cases using originating summons,” he said .