The president of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem has ordered that all pending petitions from the 36 states of the federation regarding the outcome of the 2023 elections be transferred to the Lagos and Abuja divisions of the appellate court.
Based on the directive, all such pending cases resulting from the verdict of the various state petition election petition tribunals would now be heard and decided by judges in Lagos and Abuja divisions only.
The order affects gubernatorial, national and state assemblies’ elections.
The directive by Dongban-Mensem for only two of the 20 divisions of the court to determine all appellate cases arising from tribunal disputes is said to have been informed by the plethora of petitions and protests by political parties and their candidates, who allege that the judges of the tribunals were heavily compromised by the governors during the trial stage in their respective states.
The Court of Appeal President was said to have carried out discreet investigations into the allegations against the governors and the judges of the trial tribunal and established the existence of some ‘unholy alliances’ which might have led to a miscarriage of justice at the tribunals.
Some judges of the tribunals were reportedly indicted and might face trial by the National Judicial Council (NJC).
Speaking on the development, a member of the House of Representatives representing Warri Federal Constituency, Hon. Thomas Ereyitomi was quoted by TVC to have welcomed the decision as long as it would guarantee fair and impartial judgements.
He however noted the financial implications that may result in the transfer of the cases.
“We have the notice transferring the cases from Delta State to Lagos and we have complied. Its financial implications are huge but no sacrifice is too much to get a fair and impartial judgement,” Ereyitomi said.