Lawyers React Over Conflicting Decisions On Rivers LG Polls


Lawyers in Rivers State
have reacted to the contrary court decisions on the election of Local Government Council Chairmen and councilors.
A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt presided over by Justice Akanbi had last week ordered the dissolution of councils in the state over pre-election matters which bordered on the impropriety of the conduct of the council polls.
However, the National Industrial Court in Bayelsa which the chairmen had sued the state government made a contrary decision ordering that the elected councilors and chairmen  be reinstated.
Speaking with The Tide yesterday, a Port Harcourt based lawyer, Barr Endurance Akpelu noted that the contrary decisions issued by the two courts were likely to cause confusion as government would not know which to obey.
He said that conflicting decisions might unleash mayhem in the state as those favoured by each of them would prefer to obey the one in their favour.
Barr. Akpelu said Rivers State was only recovering from the wounds inflicted upon her during the former administration in the state.
According to him, the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt dealt with pre-election matters.”
He said the National Industrial Court assumed jurisdiction on post election matter, and noted that the both courts have coordinate jurisdiction.
Barr. Akpelu explained that the National Industrial Court and High Court have equal status as appeals from both go to the Appeal Court and remarked that  Rivers State should not be allowed to relive the ugly experience it had in the last four years.
Also speaking, Barr. Olalekun Suleimann, an Abuja based lawyer, who spoke with The Tide on phone described the varying court decisions as the bastardisation of our judicial system.
He noted that the judiciary ought to be the last bastion of hope for the ordinary citizen of Nigeria.
Barr. Suleiman stated the confidence in the system was destroyed when right thinking people in the society go away thinking the judges were biased.
While not apportioning blame to any of the judges in particular, Barr Suleimann said it was important for judges to live above board