In the aftermath of the recent Supreme Court rulings on the governorship elections in Zamfara, Kano, and Plateau states, the Coalition for United Political Parties (CUPP) and a group of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) have jointly advocated for an amendment to the Electoral Act.
The Supreme Court had overturned the Court of Appeal’s decisions in the Plateau and Kano state governorship election disputes, leading to concerns about the petitions of lawmakers who were previously sacked by the Court of Appeal.
Speaking on the need for constitutional amendments, Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume, SAN, expressed concern over perceived injustices during the 2023 general elections. He emphasized the necessity of refining the country’s electoral system to make it more manageable.
Ume stated, “The whole gamut of elections in 2023 seems to have been fraught with a lot of injustice. There is a need to consider another approach in our electoral litigation.”
Adegoke Rasheed, SAN, echoed similar sentiments, calling for legislative intervention or a shift in the judicial approach to provide relief to those who have experienced a miscarriage of justice. He emphasized that such initiatives would not be an indictment on the judiciary but a means of ensuring self-regulation.
In a statement released on Sunday by its National Secretary, Peter Ameh, the CUPP demanded a review of the electoral act. The coalition called for a constitutional change to conclude all appeals from the National Assembly at the highest court.
The statement read, “CUPP hereby calls on the National Assembly to commence without delay the amendment of Sections 233. (1)(e) and 246. (1)(3) of the 1999 Constitution as Amended to extend appellate jurisdiction for State and National Assembly election disputes to the Supreme Court to avert a repeat of the disaster of injustices meted to the validly elected National and State Assembly Members of PDP and Labour Party extraction from Plateau, Enugu, Abia, and other states.”
The CUPP emphasized the urgent need for legislative action to prevent a recurrence of perceived injustices against elected members who were unjustly removed from their seats by the Court of Appeal.
The calls for amendments come amidst growing discussions about the integrity and effectiveness of the electoral system in Nigeria.