The Chief Judge (CJ) of the Federal High Court (FHC), Justice John Tsoho, on Monday, said that the Court was not consulted in the enactment of the Electoral (Amendment) Act, 2022, by the National Assembly.
Justice Tsoho made the disclosure while delivering his speech at a special court session to mark the commencement of the Court’s 2022/2023 Legal Year in Abuja.
Justice Tsoho said additional jurisdiction had been conferred on the FHC by the new Electoral (Amendment) Act, 2022.
According to him, by virtue of Sections 29 (5) and 84(14), of the Act, exclusive jurisdiction is foisted on the Federal High Court in the hearing and determination of pre-election complaints.
“Linked to that jurisdiction is Section 285 (10) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), which provides that such pre-election cases must be concluded within 180 days from the date of filing of the suit.
“This is notwithstanding the judges’ existing ‘high-volume’ dockets that present enormous challenges.
“It is necessary to place on record that the Electoral (Amendment) Act, 2022, was enacted without any consultation with the Court.
“Also, no support whatsoever was provided to address the increased responsibility,” he said.
The CJ said that this had weighed heavily on the operations of the Court.
“I must quickly state, however, that this ‘disruption’, without consultation, did not alter our fundamental core values as a court: of rising to challenges and tackling them head-on.
“This underpins our resolve to soar in the face of adversity,” he said.