Tribunal can decide presidential election in 7 days – Agbakoba

Legal luminary, Olisa Agbakoba has said it is possible to conclude presidential election petitions in April, provided that the court systems are very proactive.

He noted that the tension around the call for an interim government was due to expectations that the tribunal may not deliver judgement before May 29.

Agbakoba said under arbitration matters, orders/directions are issued peremptorily to resolve complex jurisdictional and procedural issues.

His statement on Monday urged the presidential election tribunal to adapt the procedures very familiar with speedy conclusion of arbitration matters.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) listed the issues raised by the Labour Party, LP, and its candidate Peter Obi, who insists he won the February 25 poll.

“…The interpretation of Section 134 of the 1999 Constitution as to whether 25 percent of votes in the FCT is compulsory; Is a candidate permitted to stand for election when he is also a senatorial candidate?; Issues regarding qualification of APC candidates,” he said.

Agbakoba said if the petitions were arbitration proceedings, an arbitrator may issue a procedural order to address all complex disputes and deliver “a partial final award”.

The SAN charged the tribunal and the Supreme Court to give the order, address the jurisdictional issues raised, and release final summary judgment.

“Between the tribunal and Supreme Court, the petitions can be resolved within 7 (seven) days from today. This will cool the temperature in Nigeria on the issue of interim government etc,” he added.

Agbakoba stated that the required speed would be a radical departure from the present policy where case management plays a limited role in judicial outcomes.

“Speed of justice is the mantra that our judiciary must proclaim very loudly. This is needed in the presidential petitions proceedings urgently,” he stressed.

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