Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) with support from the European Union and in collaboration with DAI, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), organised a capacity building workshop for Justices of the Court of Appeal and members of the Election Petition Tribunals. The workshop was held from 7th to 10th November 2022. This was with a view to strengthening the work and role of the Judiciary as it relates to election matters.
It was focused on building the skills of Justices of the Court of Appeal and Judges/Members of the Election Petition Tribunals on effective resolution of election disputes ahead of the upcoming 2023 General Elections. With a new legal framework for elections in place, the Justices/Judges were trained on the application of the new Electoral Act, 2022 as well as on Practice and Procedure in Election Petition Tribunals. A further interactive session between the Justices/Judges and INEC held, where common challenges in managing and adjudicating elections were discussed with the aim of ensuring improved outcomes in 2023.
At the opening ceremony of the workshop, the Judicial Electoral Manual for Judges was launched. The manual is a guide for Justices/Judges to promote improved adjudication of Election Petitions. PLAC with support from the EU and in collaboration with IFES had supported a workshop to revise this manual in June 2022.
The Nigerian judiciary is a major actor in the promotion of credible elections due to the adjudicatory role it plays. The European Union Observation Mission report on the 2019 general elections, had included in one of its priority recommendations, the need to improve access to judicial remedy, review of jurisdiction of election tribunals and strengthening of the judicial capacity of judges via training on election-related matters and improved case-management mechanisms.