Ayoola Philips is the new member of Lagos State’s Election Appeal Tribunal
The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Ayoola Philips, Tuesday, swore in Kazeem Alogba as a member of the state’s Election Appeal Tribunal.
Mr. Alogba, a judge, replaces Rotimi Abiru who had been elevated to the Court of Appeal two weeks ago.
Ms. Philips said that with the appointment of the “very senior judge”, the appeal tribunal would resume sitting as soon as their chairman directs.
“We are aware that there have been petitions which have stalled the tribunal albeit temporarily,” Ms. Philips said. “It is now set for the tribunal to continue its assignment. I urge them to be just and fair and not be swayed by any extra judicial circumstances or remarks.”
The ruling Action Congress of Nigeria, whose victory at the Ikoyi-Obalende council poll was overturned, had written petitions against some members of the tribunal.
The nature of the petition was not made public but it forced the tribunal to suspend sitting until further notice.
After Mr. Alogba took the oaths of office and secrecy, Ms. Philips enjoined the tribunal members to be “fearless and bold.”
“You have a short time to do this assignment, do it as soon as possible so you can go back to your primary assignments.
“Avoid, as much as possible, to make any comment that would be misconstrued. We as judges speak through our judgments and not on the pages of newspapers,” Ms. Philips said.
Ms. Opeyemi Oke, the tribunal’s Chairperson, thanked the chief judge for having faith in the tribunal despite the petitions against the members.
“Petitions flying here and there, pathetic stories not even fit for Nollywood,” Ms. Oke said.
Dozens of residents of Ikoyi-Obalende local council had, on Monday, thronged the premises of the High court to protest the tribunal’s indefinite adjournment of its sitting.
The appeals tribunal head allayed the fears of all concerned parties.
“We would adjudicate without any fear or favour,” she said.