Some Supreme Court Decisions No Longer Make Sense — Justice Rhodes-Vivour

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Departing justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, has challenged judges not to rely so much on the doctrine of judicial precedents because some of them do not make sense.

Rhodes-Vivour spoke in Abuja on Monday at a valedictory session in his honour after clocking the mandatory retirement age of 70.

He said some of those decisions were outdated and should be laid to rest and never followed, although stare decisis implies that judges must “stand by your decisions and the decisions of your predecessors, however wrong they are and whatever injustice they inflict.”

He also called for the amendment of the Electoral Act to shift the burden of proof to the Independent National Electoral Commission to “prove that it conducted a fair and reasonable election” because the petitioner has an uphill task proving his petition in accordance with the Electoral Act.

Earlier, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, extolled the qualities of Rhodes-Vivour, describing him as a “gentle tiger in the temple of justice.”

Rhodes-Vivour joined the bench as a judge of the Lagos State High Court on February 18, 1994. He was elevated to the Court of Appeal in 2005 from where he joined the Supreme Court on September 16, 2010.

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