HomeNewsSupreme Court Judgement: Plateau Legislators’ Dilemma Reignites Calls For Electoral Act Amendment

Supreme Court Judgement: Plateau Legislators’ Dilemma Reignites Calls For Electoral Act Amendment

The recent ruling of the Court of Appeal to sack all federal and state legislators from Plateau State has reignited the call for an amendment of the electoral act. 

The public outcry and dissatisfaction over the perceived political injustice created by the decision of the appeallate court in cases related to the 2023 general elections have heightened the demand for reform.

The Court of Appeal in Abuja last November delivered a wide-sweeping judgment by sacking all 16 members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Plateau State House of Assembly due to an alleged pre-election issue. 

Subsequently, the Appeal Court also removed five PDP members of the House of Representatives, two senators, and Governor Caleb Mutfwang. While the Supreme Court reversed Mutfwang’s dismissal, the state and federal legislators were not as fortunate, as their cases were terminated at the appellate court.

In response to the ruling, there have been dissenting opinions from different stakeholders and legal professionals. Senior lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, accused the Court of Appeal of depriving the people of Plateau State of their franchise and called for a revision of the Electoral Act to ensure that similar cases are heard by the apex court.

The National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP has also sent petitions to the Federal Judicial Service Commission and the National Judicial Council (NJC), seeking redress for its affected members in the legislative houses. The former governor of Plateau State, Senator Jonah Jang, has supported this move and stressed the need to address the miscarriage of justice.

However, there have been opposing views on the petition to the NJC, with lawyer Abiodun Owonikoko contending that the council does not have the right to review or reverse rulings. On the other hand, human rights lawyer Mr. Femi Falana called for a review of some of the Supreme Court’s judgments on political cases.

Some have suggested amending the constitution to allow the apex court to hear cases related to state and federal legislative elections. While acknowledging the potential burden on the Supreme Court, others believe that aggrieved parties should be allowed to use all available legal avenues.

In light of these developments, there are growing calls for reconsideration and potential reforms in the judicial process regarding electoral disputes.



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