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Election tribunal job not for money-making  – A’Court president

Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem

The Court of Appeal on Monday warned its officials deployed to the registries of the election petition tribunals for the general elections against compromising the process.

The appellate court also told the 350 officials to see their deployment as a call to service.

The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, issued the warning in Abuja during a two-day capacity-building workshop for those who would serve as Registrars, Secretaries and other officials of the election tribunals with the theme, “Challenges arising from election petition tribunal and the way forward.”

According to her, any of them found to have compromised the system in any form would not only be recalled and relieved of his/her service, but also subjected to prosecution as recommended by the Federal Judicial Service Commission.

She said, “It is part of your obligation to discharge your duties with utmost good faith and not be carried away by little advances.

“Your integrity and that of the tribunal and its members are in the public searchlight; you must therefore ensure you are not used as weapons to truncate the process.

“Ensure to live above board so that you will not put the judiciary into disrepute. Do not see it as an opportunity to make money to enrich yourselves, but rather, 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 that you must constantly relate with the Election Petition Tribunal Unit at the Headquarters at intervals and report matters you are uncertain about to forestall breaches in communication.”

“For the sake of emphasis, it is important to state that petitions before the tribunals are time bound.

It is therefore your utmost responsibility to ensure processes are properly and timely filed once they are brought to the Registry to forestall administrative injustice to the Parties before such matters are adjudicated.

The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, lauded 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, Mrs May Agbamuche-Mbu, urged the court officials not to betray the public trust.

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