Falana calls for live broadcast of election cases, cautions those ‘rubbishing judiciary’

Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), says he will not join his colleagues to “rubbish” the integrity of Nigerian courts.


Speaking on Sunday in an interview with Channels Television, Falana said Nigerian courts are capable of delivering justice in election-related matters.


Recently, some politicians and legal practitioners have raised doubts about the integrity of the Nigerian judiciary to dispense justice in the presidential election petitions filed by the Labour Party (LP) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the victory of Bola Tinubu, the president-elect.


There have also been calls for the proceedings of the tribunal to be televised.


Speaking on the development, the human rights advocate said he will not embark on the “fallacy of generalisation” by condemning the judiciary.


“I’m not going to join some of my colleagues who are rubbishing the court. I go to court on a daily basis. If I have a problem with any court or any judge for that matter, what I’m required to do is to write a petition to the National Judicial Council,” he said.


“But I cannot for goodness sake embark on what I called a fallacy of generalisation to say ‘Oh, Nigerian courts are bad, Nigerian judges will not dispense justice’.


“For me, once you prepare your case, I don’t think there should be any cause for alarm. Elections have been annulled in Nigeria by our courts.


“Our courts have ordered rerun elections. One of them, I think the case of Buhari and Yar’Adua; the president-elect then escaped narrowly. It was a decision of four to three justices of the supreme court… the elections of 2007, the winner of the election, the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, did say the election was highly flawed. In some of the states, not less than five elections were annulled and rerun elections were ordered.


Falana expressed his support for the calls to televise the tribunal proceedings, adding that it will enhance the credibility of the judiciary.


“I have always campaigned for that. That is the trend in Africa — in Ghana and Kenya — the proceedings are televised because judges should have nothing to hide,” he added.


 “Invite the media and members of the public. Once there is order in the court, everybody should be part of it because we were all part of the election.


“So the decision of the court on the election should not be shrouded in secrecy. For that reason, I support the call by the president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Yakubu Maikyau (SAN), that the proceedings should be televised. It is in the interest of our judges, and the public.” 

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