2019: Nigerian judges get new directive that could alter political cases

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The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Adamu Kafarati, has issued a  new directive to help ensure justice in the build up to the 2019 elections as he directed judges to put a stop to the use of ex-parte orders in political cases.

The directive was given on Monday at the opening of the 2018/2019 legal year, following two months of vacation by the courts.

The directive, coming months before the 2019 general elections, is expected to have significant effects on the array of politically related cases expected to spring forth in the approaching electoral season. An ex-parte order is a directive which a court could grant without necessarily hearing from both parties involved in a matter.

Explaining the reason for the directive on Monday, Kafarati said his decision was motivated by the need to curb the hiccups blamed on the courts from the actions of political gladiators.

“I have during this vacation issued a circular that interim orders ex-parte shall not be granted in any political cases brought before the court. I believe that controversies can be reduced when the court takes a decision after hearing all the parties especially in political cases,” he said.

The chief judge continued: “I believe that controversies, especially in political cases, can be reduced when the court takes a decision after hearing all the parties in the case.

“It is also extremely important that all political cases that may affect any of the parties, which are still pending in any of our courts, be concluded without further waste of time to afford all candidates the the opportunity to pursue their political ambitions.

“Honourable judges before whom such cases are still pending must endeavour to conclude them before the end of October, 2018.

“I urge your Lordships to be wary in handling all cases and especially cases concerning political parties and the upcoming general elections. We should again use this court and the constitution to regulate our society for the good of our children and mankind.

“I still believe that the judiciary remains the hope of all people whether common or uncommon.

“It is, therefore, your duty to ensure that the society is moulded in accordance with the rule of law and the constitution. You must therefore administer justice without fear or favour.”

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