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Body of SANs suggests ways to effectively handle political suits

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Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN) on Thursday called for the setting up of constitutional courts to take care of political matters and the regular courts to attend to other pressing cases.

The senior lawyers stated through their representative, Mr. Asiwaju Awomolo at the valedictory court session in honour of Justice Adamu Kafarati, former Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Abuja, frowning at what they called undue delay in hearing and dispensing with civil cases in the country.

According to Awomolo, the delay has destroyed several businesses and discouraged foreign investors from coming to Nigeria, adding that the congestion of cases in all courts has become a great burden, concern and embarrassment to the judicial system.

“In the supreme Court, only political cases are being heard on a daily basis, as every day on the cause list of the court, there are about 12 or 15 cases for hearing.

“The court of Appeal, in all divisions, are daily preoccupied with pre and post-election cases and most High Courts are occupied with political cases.

“Each amendment to the constitution is skewed towards enhancing the fortune of political office holders thereby increasing the burden on the court.

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“Political rights of few citizens cannot override legal rights of millions of citizens to live, do business and prosper,” Awomolo said.

He also called on both the Bar and the Bench to push for a swift constitutional amendment, adding that it was time constitutional courts are given thoughtful consideration, as Section 250 (1) (2) of 1999 constitution takes care of the disruption of court system and unending delay of other cases in courts.

“All political matters, including pre and post elections and election petitions must be handled by the court.

“Each state of the federation shall have her own Court of Appeal and only constitutional matters will go to the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

“The Code of Conduct Tribunal, which has been elevated to criminal court must be seen as a judicial body having regards to the enormous powers vested in that Tribunal.

“It must be made a part of the court under Section 6 (5) of the 1999 constitution and any persons to be appointed as judge must be certified fit and proper,” Awomolo submitted.

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