2023 Elections: NBA To Organise Trainings For Judges And Election Monitoring Groups

2023 Elections: NBA To Organise Trainings For Judges And Election Monitoring Groups

As part of its activities leading up to the 2023 general elections, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) will organise trainings on the Electoral Act for two categories of beneficiaries; judges handling election matters and Election monitoring groups, in the coming days.

This was revealed by the President of the NBA, Yakubu Maikyau, OON, SAN during a meeting held today with a delegation of Legal and Social Media Analysts of the European Union Elections Observation Mission Nigeria 2023, led by Colm Fahy at the NBA National Secretariat.

Speaking at the meeting, Maikyau noted that the 2023 general election is a concern for every citizen and the Nigerian Bar Association is not an exception. He cited some innovative provisions in the Electoral Act and said he was of the opinion that many Judges may not be well grounded with these provisions of the Act, hence the need for more training.

“I intend to see the President of the Court of Appeal to enable us to initiate a training and invite some Justices of the SC to be part of it; just so see how to broaden the scope of the interpretation of the electoral law”, he said.

He said that the Nigerian Bar Association will utilise about 1000 observers of the elections, drawn from its 128 branches with a situation room at the headquarters. Unfortunately, this is to the exclusion of members from Akwa Ibom State for the partisan role played by some leaders and members of their branches..

In reaction to the NBA President’s invitation to be one of the resource persons at the training, Mr Colm Fahy stated that he will be happy to attend and participate but the delegation’s involvement will be limited.

Fahy noted that there were challenges with the elections, concerning the interpretation of the1999 Constitution as regards the Presidential elections and the bulk of pre-election matters, and opined that not all cases should go to court but some should be resolved by registrars of courts.

In response, Maikyau said provisions of the Constitution would be left for the courts to interpret, even as he agreed that the courts are overwhelmed as the number of judges dealing with pre-election matters are not enough to handle the pressure

“We need some sort of legislative process to amend the law to enable the courts act efficiently. The court should not dabble into all matters arising from elections and some matters should terminate at the high courts and some at the Court of Appeal.”

On the issue of prisoners’ and women’s participation in the election, the Chairman of the NBA Human Rights Institute, Mr Chinonye Obiagwu, SAN said the NBA will also observe how prisoners and other persons are given the opportunity to exercise their franchise in the elections and ensure no citizen is marginalized. Maikyau also expressed his support for prisoners to exercise their franchise, whether convicted or not, stating that the NBA will continue to do its best and would deploy its members to various areas of concern.

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