Martin Kpebu : Supreme Court may extend 42-day Election Petition period

Lawyer Martin Kpebu has said the Supreme Court may extend its 42-day timeframe for the delivery of the final judgement of the 2020 election petition.

According to Martin Kpebu, the extension of resolving all post-election concerns may be as a result of the limited time available to the Supreme Court.

The private legal practitioner said in a News report that “…we don’t have much time left and frankly speaking, by now, the trial should have started because from day 15, we should have started, so you see that we have lost some time.”

He observed that “the judges have 21 days to retain their verdict [but] now that we are on day 20, the days for the trial are over, so inevitably, the judges will give part of their time to the parties to conduct their actual hearing”.

Martin Kpebu indicated that judgement can be pronounced after a deadline especially if the process is prolonged.

“If at the trial it turns out that a very critical issue of evidence comes out so much that the trial has to go a bit outside the 42 days, that should not cause an alarm,” he noted.

The new Supreme Court (Amendment) (No.2) Rules, 2016 (C.I. 99) was enacted into law by Parliament in 2017.

Per Rule 69C (4) of that C.I. 99, the pre-trial of the petition shall be on the 10th day after the filing of the petition, with hearing commencing on the 15th day and ending on the 21st day respectively after the filing, while judgement will be on the 42nd day.

 

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