SANs call for creation of constitutional court of Nigeria
The Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria, BoSAN, on Monday, called for the establishment of a National Constitutional Court that will be saddled with the responsibility of determining all election related cases.
The legal body, which made the demand at a special court session the Federal High Court held to mark its 2022/2023 legal year, decried that many matters, including fundamental right enforcement suits, have continued to suffer adjournments, owing to plethora of political cases that are flooding the high court.BoSAN maintained that the constitutional court, which exist in several countries, would upon its creation, be like the National Industrial Court that exercises jurisdiction on matters related to employnment and other industrial related matters.
It said: “The founding fathers of our democracy and those who fashioned the specialized and exclusive jurisdiction for the Federal High Court did not envisage the aberration of cases on political disputations arising from lack of internal democracy, political shenanigans and impunity in the management of political parties, as one that will interrupt this court from doing its constitutional duty.
“Normal cases inevitably had to suffer adjournments thereby frustrating good and urgent causes.
“With all humility, we have reached a stage when very urgently, the Parliament, Judiciary and stakeholders in the administration of
Justice should consider the establishment of National Constitutional court of Nigeria.
“The Constitutional court is one that will handle all constitutional, political and election matters. It will be a Federal Court, of the status of a High court with divisions in all the states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
“The Court will have unlimited jurisdiction to determine all causes as relating enforcement of or connected with interpretation of the Constitution, enforcement of fundamental rights of the citizens, determination as to whether any person has been lawfully elected into any office from the President, to the State governors and members of all the Legislative houses.
“The Court will be like the National Industrial Court of Nigeria that exercises jurisdiction on matters related to employnment and other industrial related matters.
“All the decisions of the court will be appeallable to the Court of Appeal and all appeals ends at the Court of Appeal.
“There will no longer be the need to take away about 500 judges from their normal court responsibilities to sit on Election Tribunals all over the country.
“We have enough human resources to serve the Court in all capacity. My Lords, there exists Constitutional courts in many countries of the world, where such jurisdictions as proposed function effectively to relieve regular Courts of political cases.
“For example, countries like India, South Africa, South Korea, Egypt, Zambia, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Germany.