Political cases taking monumental toll on our dockets, CJN laments
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, on Wednesday, said he was worried that political cases are taking a monumental toll on the dockets of various courts in the country.
The CJN, who spoke after he swore in nine new Justices of the Court of Appeal, in a ceremony that was held at the Supreme Court, lamented that several novel crimes were being committed in the country, which he said has made litigations to go on a steady rise.
“Indeed, the times we are in are not pleasant, to say the least. No court in the land is spared of this.
“We are constantly on our toes and the dockets are ever rising in response to the challenges of the time. This underscores the undisputed fact that Nigeria continuously ranks among the most litigious countries In the world.
“I strongly believe it is high time we began to imbibe the culture of less litigation and more of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms so that our courts can be freed of unnecessary burden and depletion of both human and material resources,” the CJN stated.
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He said the onus squarely rests on the newly elevated Justices “to fasten your belt and roll up your sleeves to face the challenges head-on.”
Continuing, the CJN, said: “You must redouble your pace to catch up with the expectations of the litigants.
“As judicial officers, you have a divine mandate on earth that you must discharge with unveiled honesty and sincerity.
“You must give good account of yourselves to justify your elevation to the Court of Appeal so that you can subsequently earn an elevation to the Supreme Court to further actualize your dreams,” he added.
He noted that the number of justices that were sworn in on Wednesday, was one of the highest in recent history of the Court of Appeal since June 28, 2021 when 18 justices were elevated to the appellate court.
Meanwhile, the Justices of the appellate court that were sworn in by the CJN on Wednesday, are; Hannatu Azumi Laja-Balogun from Kaduna State, who was appointed a High Court Judge on 24th May, 1999; Binta Fatima Zubairu from Kaduna State, appointed a High Court Judge on 31st October, 2001; and Peter Chudi Obiora from Anambra State, who was sworn-in as High Court Judge on 17th January, 2005, respectively.
Others are; Justices Okon Efreti Abang from Akwa Ibom State, who was appointed a High Court Judge on 22nd June, 2009; Asma’u Musa Mainoma from Federal Capital Territory, appointed High Court Judge on 1st February, 2013; Lateef Adebayo Ganiyu from Oyo State, who became High Court Judge on 26th June, 2014; and Jane Esienanwan Iyang from Cross River State, who was sworn-in as High Court Judge on 12th February, 2015.
As well as Justices Hadiza Rabiu Shagari from Sokoto State, who got elevation to the High Court Bench on 12th February, 2015; and Paul Ahmed Bassi from Borno State, appointed to the High Court on 14th July, 2017.