The Court of Appeal has dispensed 5, 669 cases and 10,798 motions in the out-going legal year, its President, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem has said.
She also said “despite a 51 per cent increase in the number of motions filed during the period under review, the Court of Appeal witnessed 48 per cent increase in the number of motions worked on as of November this year.
Justice Dongban-Mensem spoke in Abuja on Wednesday at the second working retreat and annual conference of the court and the inauguration of its rules.
At the conference attended by the Chief Justice of Nigeria CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad, Justice Dongban-Mensem said as a result of the devastating effect of COVID-19, a total of 528 judgments were delivered via the zoom online platform in the 2020/2021 legal year.
Justice Dongban-Mensem said, “The administration of justice remains the primary focus of the court; the learned justices of the court, without exception, have worked incredibly to improve justice delivery this year.
“As a result, we have had a 26.47 per cent reduction in the total volume of cases pending in our divisions, as compared with last year.
“In the face of incredible uncertainty such as the world has and is still experiencing, I am assured that the Court will rise to each and every challenge that will face us whether jurisprudentially or otherwise.
“We are committed to deepening the expeditious dispensation of justice and are not afraid to think out of the box in order to achieve it.
“This informs our pivot towards a technology driven system of justice, following the precedent set by the the Chief Justice of Nigeria in the technological innovations introduced to the Supreme Court.
“The 2021/2022 legal year has begun with much confidence as we have had an infusion of 18 new justices to the Court of Appeal.”
The appeal court president said it was important for “our new learned brother justices” to be properly oriented so as not to disrupt the course of the dispensation of justice.
Dongban-Mensem said, “It is notable that my Lords the new justices have been sitting in special panels with their learned brother justices of the Abuja Division since yesterday, December 6, 2021.
“In that time, their Lordships had to hear 198 motions and Appeals, which is commendable indeed given that they sat in only six panels hearing an average of 33 matters per panel.”