The President, Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, on Monday asked lawyers to assist the bench on speedy delivery of justice by stopping frivolous applications and other measures that might unnecessarily delay proceedings.
Speaking at the inaugural sitting of the court of appeal in Lokoja, Kogi state capital, Bulkachuwa said the judiciary was poised to ensure prompt delivery of justice across the country.
According to her, the sitting of the Abuja Division and a panel of Sharia Appeal Justice in Lokoja, in the next two weeks was aimed at reducing the need for litigants who had to travel to Abuja to get justice.
She advised lawyers to always present their matters simply and briefly so that the court can have a smooth and successful session.
The Appeal Court president said, “There are ongoing reforms which will aide quick dispensation of justice. There are special task forces made up of justices of the court of appeal, these justices move from less busy divisions to very busy divisions to hear and determine backlog of pending appeals in such division”.
“It is against this backdrop that in 2013, we launched the Fast-Track Tools Kit to help fast-track Appeals within the scope of 180 days. This was put to bear during the 2015 general elections in Nigeria, where the court heard and determined 780 appeals within a period of 60 days”.
“As can be seen from the team of justices here present, headed by my humble self we will have two (2) regular panel (Civil and Criminal) and one Sharia panel. The two panels will sit over the 198 appeal consisting appeal motions and another panel of justices will sit over the 11 Sharia appeals.
The Chief Judge of Kogi state, Justice Nasiru Ajanah, expressed said hope that the sitting would be a precursor to the establishment of a division of the court in the state.
He said that he had brought Justice closer to the people within the available resources, adding that the state judiciary had sustained 20 high courts across the state.
Ajanah added that the state judiciary provided facilities for the takeoff of the Federal High Court before the court became firmly established in the state.
“We are presently doing the same for the National Industrial Court for which we have provided a courtroom, judges, accommodation and an enabling environment in preparation for the takeoff of the sitting of the court in the state,” he stated.
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