Over 8, 000 cases pending at Supreme Court, Lawyers call for constitutional amendment

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Senior lawyers in the country have expressed concern at the number of appeals pending at the Supreme Court.



According to a source at the apex court, there are over 8,000 appeals at the Supreme Court waiting to be heard.

He said apart from political cases that need urgent attention, any appeal to the court now is given a 2028 date for hearing, adding that only time-bound appeals that cannot wait will be given urgent attention at the court.

He said, already, the registry of the court is full at the moment.


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Leadership findings show that appeals filed between 2006 and 2009 have dates of hearing/determination from now till the end of 2021. Some of the appeals or cases brought to the Supreme Court from 2010 till date are yet to get dates of hearing and shall be assigned hearing dates from 2022 and beyond.

According to findings, most cases affected are civil in nature.

A source at the Supreme Court further said it would take up to 2028 to clear the cases of eight years ago.

The delays in these proceedings may have a negative impact and delay developmental activities in the economy, democracy and rule of law and social disobedience in the country.

Some senior lawyers who weigh in on the issue faulted the constitutional provision addressing legal matters in the nation’s constitution, hence calling of amendments.

‘The interlocutory appeals have to be taken together with the main matter, rather than allowing appeals separately on it to the apex court.

‘The constitution should be further amended to allow for the appointment of ad-hoc justices so as to allow retired justices and erudite senior advocates to be invited from time to time to help decongest the court,’ Abdul Balogun, a senior advocate said, as quoted by Leadership.

’Appeals should not be automatic but by leave of court in order to reduce the inflow of appeals.

‘Only cases that raise constitutional issues or points of law should be appealed to the apex court as practised in the USA, where they don’t sit on appeals more than 100 a year. If restrictions are so applied then, what now comes to the apex court can change law,’ Shehu Adi, another lawyer said, adding that too many appeals lead to confusion in the law.

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