FCT Chief Judge reaffirms ban on ex-parte order in political cases



Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory, Justice Ishaq Bello on Thursday, reaffirmed that granting ex-parte orders to stop electoral processes remained barred in his jurisdiction.

Bello said this at the inauguration of new executive members of the Abuja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) also known as `Unity Bar’.

He insisted that his jurisdiction would frown at ex-parte order from any judge.

Ex-parte orders are court orders issued by courts in the absence of the opposing parties in a suit.

Bello said the FCT High Court’s policy prohibiting the issuance of such orders in political cases in the election-related cases was to ensure that democracy developed naturally.

He added that it would encourage politicians to settle their disputes without court’s intervention.

Bello said “they must have observed that this jurisdiction has demonstrated firmness against granting ex parte injunction or any restraining order to forestall any electioneering activity.

“This should be instructive, because charity begins at home.

“If we can consider the bar and its organs as part of parcel of the household to which the bench belongs, then we have started demonstrating our position abhorring ex parte injunction forestalling elections.

“Therefore, be wary of coming up with application when it comes to pragmatic politics because we are not going to accede to that.

“This is because we want natural growth of democracy; we want political actors to learn how to resolve their disputes within themselves without coming to court, except where it is exceedingly necessary,” Bello said.

He charged the new executive members of the Unity Bar to keep to their promise to act according to the Nigerian constitution and other laws of the land.

Bello also urged them to remain desirous of putting in the best practices toward meeting the expectations of Nigerians in justice delivery.

He further tasked them to work assiduously to ensure that enduring peace was sustained in the branch.

The new chairman of the NBA Abuja branch, Mrs Hauwa Shakarau, in her acceptance speech, sought the cooperation of members of the association to succeed.

While promising to deliver on her 10-point campaign agenda, Shakarau pointed out that welfare of members and mentoring for young lawyers were critical.

“I ran a campaign on a 10-point agenda which is centred around restoring the glory of the bar, capacity building for lawyers, welfare of young lawyers and mentorship for young lawyers in particular,’’ She added.

Other members of the `Unity Bar’ are Chioma Uko, Vice Chairman, Adebisi Adetosoye, Secretary, Chinelo Ofoegbunam, Assistant Secretary and Adedeji Emmanuel, Treasurer.

Others are Ikenefuna Onyeka, Publicity Secretary, Ngozi Agubalu, Welfare Secretary, Jude Ugwuanyi, Legal Adviser and Princess Frank-Chukwuani, NEC Representative. (NAN)