The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, will on Thursday swear in 85 judges to adjudicate on election petitions from the upcoming governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States as well as by-elections scheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
While the election in Edo State is slated for September 19, that of Ondo comes up on October 10.
The 85 judges are drawn from the Federal High Court and state high courts.
A statement on Wednesday by the spokesperson of the Court of Appeal, Ms. Sa’adatu Kachalla, said the judges would be inaugurated in Abuja.
After the inauguration, the judges will undergo a one-day training on the election petition tribunal matters, to be organised by the President of the Court of Appeal (PCA), Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, on Friday.
In another development, INEC on Wednesday said it would recruit no fewer than 17,000 staff for the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo State.
INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Mr. Festus Okoye, gave the figure yesterday in Akure while opening a workshop for journalists on elections.
Over 50 journalists from the print, electronic and online media organisations participated in the workshop.
Okoye said of the figure, 15,000 would be ad hoc staff, made up of members of the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) and students of federal tertiary institutions, supervising presiding officers and collation and returning officers.
According to him, supervising presiding officers will be drawn from the staff of federal tertiary institutions in the state while collation and returning officers will also be senior staff of federal tertiary institutions.
However, Okoye said the collation officers and returning officers would be drawn from federal tertiary institutions outside the state.
The commissioner said INEC was prepared to conduct the election in line with COVID-19 protocols.
He said the commission would work with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to ensure compliance with COVID-19 protocols.
He said the INEC would provide basic Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including face masks, sanitisers, infra-red thermometers and disinfectants at polling units for its staff.
Okoye added that the commission will enforce strictly the provision of the COVID-19 protocols as it would not allow any voter without a face mask to vote.
He urged journalists to also observe the protocols while carrying out their assignments during the election.