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LP chairmanship candidate tasks Edo CJ on council election tribunal

By Silver Nwokoro
14 September 2023   |   11:56 am
A Labour Party (LP) chairmanship candidate for Oredo Local Government Area (LGA), Edo State, Daniel Ero, has appealed to the Chief Judge of Edo State to establish a Local Government tribunal in line with section 78 of the state LGA election law, 2012.

A Labour Party (LP) chairmanship candidate for Oredo Local Government Area (LGA), Edo State, Daniel Ero, has appealed to the Chief Judge of Edo State to establish a Local Government tribunal in line with section 78 of the state LGA election law, 2012.

According to him, the provision is not merely a legal formality but a fundamental pillar of the democratic system, essential for ensuring fairness, justice and the rule of law.

In a letter to the Chief Judge of the state, Ero noted that the establishment of the tribunal after election would have promptly addressed and resolved disputes that arose from the electoral processes.

In the letter copied to the Chief Justice of Nigeria/Chairman National Judicial Council, Supreme Court of Nigeria, Ero lamented that the recent Edo State local government elections were marred by voter suppression, violence and serious irregularities.

His words: “Regrettably, 10 days (and counting) after the official declaration of the election results by the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) September 3, 2023, there has been no official proclamation from Your Lordship towards the establishment of the mandated Local Government Election Tribunal.

“If indeed a Local Government Election Tribunal has been established, this information has not been made public. My lawyers also confirmed that they have made inquiries at the Edo State Judiciary Headquarters and that there is no office or registry for receiving election petitions.

“As a result, I have been unable to exercise my right of access to a court of competent jurisdiction within a reasonable time to ventilate my claims and seek redress.”

Ero lamented that the delay is not only a blatant disregard for the Edo State Local Government Election Law and the confidence reposed in the judiciary to safeguard the democratic principles, he added that it is also a breach of his constitutional right of access to court.

“This is in view of the fact that Section 85 of the same Edo State Local Government Election Law, 2012, provides aggrieved candidates with a limited timeframe of 30 days to file their petitions. With each passing day, the precious time for petitioners to seek redress is slipping away, and this egregious lapse threatens to undermine the very foundations of justice and fairness in our electoral process.

“The establishment of the Local Government Election Tribunal is a mandate bestowed on Your Lordship by the Constitution. It is, therefore, my firm expectation, as well as that of other contestants in the just concluded Local Government Elections and the Edo State electorate at large, that this Tribunal would have been set up long before the day of the elections and kicked into operation immediately following the declaration of the election results,” he stated.

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