Human Rights Lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, has expressed concern over what he calls ‘tribunalisation of the nation’s democracy’ saying it endangers the very essence of democracy in itself.
The renowned legal luminary said nowhere else around the world is the mandate of the people being determined at the Courts than at the polls.
Mr Falana who was speaking on Monday, April 13, 2020, during a live interview on BCOS Breakfast Television programme, ‘AM120’, suggested that retired Judges should be engaged in electoral petition thereby allowing regular Courts to take care of other vital matters.
He said: “I’m strongly opposed to the idea of empowering the Supreme Court to get involved in governorship election cases. In most parts of the world, it is not the business of the Supreme Court to get involved in local elections and that was the situation in Nigeria until 2011; all election petition appeals arising from governorship election petitions, legislative election petitions ended at the appeal Court.”
On the various preventive measures to tackle the ravaging Coronavirus which has crippled the global economy in the past few months, Mr Falana said the restriction order and total lockdown in some parts of Country were in order but these should be reviewed periodically to lessen the burden on the citizens
He frowned at the recent importation of Chinese medical personnel to tackle Coronavirus cases in Nigeria, saying Government should not at this moment frustrate the efforts of local medical workers with inadequate provision of facilities and necessary incentives, adding that “our Medical Doctors are doing well and can compete with others around the world but they lack adequate equipment to work with.”
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria argues that “this is not the time to pay debts to the detriment of the development of our nation, you can’t be cutting capital allocation while you’re paying debts; the economic stimulus package has to address the crisis in the health, education and other social services.
He said the current lockdown and restriction order has terribly affected legal practice and advised Judges to take advantage of technology to attend to urgent matters.
In addition, Mr Falana said with internet facilities now, the days of conflicting judgment will soon be over; adding that the National Judicial Council will have to come down heavily on Judges deliberately giving conflicting decisions, thereby exposing the judiciary to ridicule.