Abuja High Court to stop hearing political cases from other states

The Supreme Court of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for a long time it will entertain political cases from other states, said the FCT judge, Judge Ishaq Bello.

The chief judge, who said he had signed a practical guideline on the matter, explained that the measure was intended to "sanitize the situation".


Judge Bello publicized this when inaugurating the new Executive Council (Exco) of the Abuja branch of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) over the weekend.

He said: "Political cases originating in other member states of the federation that, for whatever reason, are brought here (the Supreme Court of FCT), will no longer be heard here".

According to him, the new direction of practice aimed to exclude the window for purchases in the forum and face the challenge of conflicting decisions in the same case by different courts.


The chief judge also added that the new board should also address the Court of Appeal's observation that such cases bring difficulties, administratively, because there are divisions of the court of appeal in the areas where these cases are brought to Abuja.

Judge Bello said: “The cases will come from Kaduna, which normally the Kaduna State Supreme Court should be able to handle, or from Ondo, Anambra, Sokoto. And not only that, even when they get here, they keep jumping from court to court.


"And when they see the inscription on the wall, they start publishing stories, arresting it in the presiding judge or in any other anomaly they can conceive from the invention of their imagination," added Judge Bello.

Read too: Abuja Superior Court grants bail to Senator Dino Melaye

The chief also noted that the number of requests from lawyers seeking to transfer their political cases was so high that, if he was not careful, he could spend the entire time attending to them.

“We consider it desirable that we have to sanitize the situation. And the direction of the practice has now directed the transfer of all of these cases back to their places of origin, even if they are partially heard matters, they will no longer be entertained here.


“Even if there is a regime that gives the slightest window for the assumption of jurisdiction, as long as it is the opinion of the presiding judge that the matter is better dealt with at the place of origin of the case, it will be returned. ”, Said Judge Bello.


The chief judge also reaffirmed the decision of the Superior Court of FCT not to grant injunctions ex parte in political cases.

“I believe that the members of Unity Bar must have noted that this jurisdiction has demonstrated its sense of reform against granting an ex parte injunction or any restraining order to prevent electoral activities.

“Therefore, you must be careful to make motions ex parte when they relate to political cases, because you know we are not going to adhere to that.

“This is because we want democracy to grow naturally. We want political actors to be able to learn the act of resolving their disputes within themselves, politically, without the need to resort to justice, unless this becomes extremely necessary ”, said Judge Bello.

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