Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja
The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal on Monday in Lokoja, Kogi State, commenced a two-week special session for expeditious determination of over 209 pending appeals emanating from the state.
The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, disclosed this at the special inaugural session of the court in Lokoja.
According to her, the session would be handled by two regular and one Sharia panels, adding that the sitting was part of the on-going reforms on quick dispensation of justice.
â€œThe two panels will sit over the 198 appeals consisting of 150 civil appeals and motions with 48 criminal appeals and motions and another panel of justices will sit over the 11 Sharia Appeals,â€ she said.
Bulkachuwa said the team of judges headed by herself, was ready and capable of dealing with the cases expeditiously and solicited the cooperation of members of the Bar â€“ the lawyers.
â€œLet me use this medium to call on my brothers at the Bar to desist from filing frivolous applications or adopting measures that may cause unnecessary delay in proceedings.
â€œYou may want to avoid frivolous briefs from clients no matter how lucrative they may seem. Try as much as possible to present your matters simply and briefly so that the court can have a smooth and successful session,â€ she added.
Also speaking, the state Chief Judge, Justice Nasir Ajanah, described the inaugural sitting of the appellate court in Lokoja as divine, saying that the Almighty God had answered his silent prayers of making justice accessible to the people at minimal cost.
Ajanah who was full of gratitude to Bulkachuwa, said the sitting was hopefully, a precursor to the establishment of a division of the court in the state and described the day as a glorious one for the state judiciary.
He said justice was only attainable if the cost and difficulty of attaining it was reduced to the barest minimum, adding that the number of appeals from the state had made it imperative the establishment of a division of the court.
The state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Ibrahim Mohammed (SAN), also in his goodwill message, re-echoed the call for the establishment of the Appeal Court division in the state.
He promised that the state governmentâ€™s support.
The Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lokoja branch, Liman Salihu, on behalf of the four branches in the state, said the sitting would assuage a lot of concern over the volume of cases from the state pending at the Appeal Court.