Election Tribunal and Court Practice Directions, 2011
In the exercise of the powers conferred upon me by Section 243and 285 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999; Section 145 of the Electoral Act 2010, I, Hon. Justice Isa Ayo Salami, OFR, President, Court of Appeal, hereby issue the following Practice Directions:-
This Practice direction shall apply and be observed in the Election Tribunals and in the Court of Appeal when sitting as a tribunal or when hearing as appeal from the tribunal.
“The Court” means the Court of Appeal;
“The Tribunal” means the Election Tribunal established pursuant to Section 285 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.
1. The list of witnesses referred to in paragraph 4 (5) (a) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) shall be deemed compiled with where the identity of the witnesses are represented by initials, alphabets or a combination of both.
2. The requirements of paragraph 4 (5) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) shall apply mutatis mutandis to a petitioner’s reply and the list of witnesses are represented by initials, alphabets or a combination of both.
3. The security for costs prescribed by the First Schedule to the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) to be deposited with the tribunal or Court shall be the sum of Two hundred thousand naira (N200,000.00).
4. There shall be a further deposit of the sum of Two hundred thousand naira (N200,000.00) to make up for the costs of service of notices, registered postings and all other expenditures which may be occasioned by the Petitioner.
5. (a) Except where the Tribunal directs otherwise, every written submission or reply to be filed in the Tribunal shall not exceed forty pages.
(b) The document referred to in the preceding paragraph must be prepared in 210mm by 297mm paper (A4) and typed in clear typographic character. The type set shall be in Arial, Times New Roman or Verdana of point 12 type with at least single spacing in between.
(c) Every such document which does not comply with the page limit and paper size requirements of this paragraph shall not be accepted by the secretary for filing.
6. The appellant shall file in the Registry of the Tribunal his notice and grounds of appeal within 21 days from the date of the decision appealed against.
7. At the filing of the notice of appeal, appellant shall:
(a) pay to the Secretary such fees as may be determined by the Secretary having regard to the bulk of the records of proceedings which he shall compile;
(b) furnish as many copies as there are respondents in addition to twenty (20) extra copies; and
(c) a fee for service on all the respondents.
8. The Secretary shall immediately upon the receipt of the notice of appeal, cause to be served on all the respondents, copies of the notice of appeal.
9. The Secretary shall within a period of not more than 10 days of the receipt of the notice of appeal, cause to be compiled and served on all the parties, the record of proceedings.
10. Within a period of 10 days after the service of the record of proceedings, the Appellant shall file in the Court, his written Brief of Argument in the appeal for service on the Respondents.
11. (a) The Brief, which may be settled by counsel, shall contain what are, in the Appellants view, the issues arising in the appeal.
(b) The Briefs shall be concluded with a numbered summary of the reasons upon which the argument is founded.
(c) Wherever possible, or necessary, the reasons should also be supported by particulars of the titles, dates and pages of cases reported in the Law Reports, or elsewhere including the summary of the decision in such case, which the parties propose to rely upon. If necessary, reference should also be made to relevant statutory instruments, Law books and other legal journals.
(d) The parties shall assume that Briefs will be read, and considered in conjunction with the documents admitted in evidence as exhibits during the proceedings in the Tribunal, and wherever necessary, reference should also be made to all relevant documents or exhibits on which they propose to rely in their argument.
12. The Respondent shall file in the Court his own Brief of argument within 5 days after service of the Appellants Brief, Paragraph 11(a) to (d) above shall apply mutatis mutandis to the Respondents brief of Argument.
13. An Appellant may file his reply Brief within 3 days of the service of the Respondents Brief.
14. (a) Every Brief of Argument or Reply, whether of the Appellant or of the Respondent to be filed in the Court shall not exceed forty pages.
(b) The document referred to in the preceding paragraph must be prepared in 210mm by 297mm paper size (A4) and typed in clear typographic character. The type shall be in Arial, Times New roman or Verdana of point 12 type with at least single spacing in between.
(c) Every such document which does not comply with the page limit and paper size requirements of this paragraph shall not be accepted by the secretary for filing
15. As early as possible, before the date set down for the hearing of the appeal, the party who has filed a Brief or the Legal Practitioner representing him, shall forward to the registrar in charge of Litigation, a list of the law reports, textbooks and other authorities which Counsel intend to cite at the hearing of the appeal
16. (a) Oral argument will be allowed at the hearing of the appeal to emphasize and clarify the written argument appearing in the Brief’s already filed in the Court.
(b) The appellant shall be entitled to open and conclude the argument. Where there is cross appeal or respondents notice, it shall be argued together with the appeal as one case and within the time allotted for the case, and the Court may having regard to the nature of the appeal, inform the parties which one to open and close the argument.
(c) Unless otherwise directed, 30 minutes on each side will be allowed for argument.
17. When an appeal is called and no party or any Legal practitioner appears to present oral argument, but Briefs have been filed by all the parties concerned in the appeal, the appeal will be treated as having been duly argued and will be considered as such.
18. An interlocutory appeal shall not operate as a stay of proceedings, nor form a ground for a stay of proceedings before a Tribunal.
These Practice Directions may be cited as Election Tribunal and Court Practice Directions, 2011 .
Dated at Abuja this 1st day of April, 2011
Isa Ayo Salami, OFR
President, Court of Appeal