The Court of Appeals on Monday warned its officials deployed in the registers of electoral petition courts for the general election against compromising the process.
The appeals court also told the 350 staff to view their deployment as a call to duty.
Appeals Court President Judge Monica Dongban-Mensem issued the warning in Abuja during a two-day capacity building workshop for those who would serve as registrars, clerks and other officials of electoral tribunals on the topic: “Challenges derived from the electoral petition court and the way forward”.
According to her, any of them who have compromised the system in any way would not only be removed and relieved of their service, but also subject to prosecution as recommended by the Federal Judicial Service Commission.
She said: “It is part of your obligation to carry out your duties in the utmost good faith and not be swayed by small advances.
“His integrity and that of the court and its members are in the public spotlight; therefore, you must ensure that you are not weaponized to truncate the process.
“Make sure you live honestly so you don’t bring the judiciary into disrepute. Do not see it as an opportunity to earn money to get rich, but go there to build your name and your future as it is said that a good name is better than silver and gold.
“The court will not hesitate to deal with anyone found wanting in this regard. It is equally important to remind you to constantly liaise with the Electoral Petitions Tribunal Unit at Headquarters at intervals and report issues you are unsure about to prevent communication gaps.”
“For the sake of emphasis, it is important to note that petitions before the courts are limited in time.
Therefore, it is your ultimate responsibility to ensure that processes are properly and timely filed once they are brought to the Registry to avoid administrative injustice to the Parties before such matters are adjudicated.
The Chairman of the Independent National Election Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, praised the PCA for the initiative, which he described as the first in the nation’s electoral history.
Yakubu, represented by the National Commissioner in charge of Legal Services, Ms. May Agbamuche-Mbu, urged judicial officers not to betray public trust.