ABUJA: With Edo and Ondo states governorship elections very close, and with expected pre election matters that has becoming the norm in the country, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, The Honourable Justice John Terhemba Tsoho, had issued new directives on what was titled, FEDERAL HIGH COURT OF NIGERIA, PRACTICE DIRECTIONS(NO. 2) 2020.
The new directive which was issued on Friday, 24 July, 2020, and signed by the Acting Information Officer, Oby Catherine Nwandu stated that In the exercise of the power conferred on the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria by Section 254 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,1999 (as amended) and pursuant to the provision of Section 2(10) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Fourth Alteration, No.21) Act 2017, which amends the provision of Section 285 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) mandating all trial courts in every pre-election matter to deliver judgment within 180 days from the date of filing the suit.
In accordance with the above, it directed that, “That These Practice Direction shall, save to the extent and as may otherwise be ordered by the Honourable Chief Judge, apply to all pre-election matters filed before the Federal High Court of Nigeria.”
“Nothing in the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019 shall prevent a Judge of the Court from hearing a pre-election matter already pending before the Court, during the vacation period until judgement is delivered.”
“No petition shall be entertained against a Judge of the Court hearing a pre-election matter, save from a party on record in such matter.”
“Where a party on record petitions as in (i) above, such petition shall be accompanied by an affidavit verifying the contents of the petition.”
“The party shall cause same to be served on the Judge and all parties on record, notwithstanding that the petition is addressed to the Honourable, the Chief Judge of the Court.”
“Where the petition is addressed to the Honourable, the Chief Judge, the proof of service of the advanced copies on all parties on record and the Judge concerned shall accompany the petition.”
The Practice Directions, made at Abuja and dated on Friday, the 24th day of July, 2020 also took effect from that same date.