CJN Calls For Less Litigation As Political Cases Take Toll in Courts

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, has expressed worries over the political cases taking a monumental toll on the dockets of several courts in the nation.

The CJN stated this on Wednesday,  after swearing in nine new Justices of the Court of Appeal, in a ceremony that was held at the Supreme Court. 

He bemoaned the numerous unique crimes being committed in the nation, which he claimed has caused lawsuits to steadily increase.

“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,” Olukayode stated.

The newly elevated Justices, he urged, must “fasten your belt and roll up your sleeves to face the challenges head-on.”

Speaking further, 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 a 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 pointed out that the number of judges who took the oath of office on Wednesday was the largest in the Court of Appeal’s recent history since June 28, 2021, when 18 justices were elevated to the appellate court.

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.

Additionally, Justices Hadiza Rabiu Shagari from Sokoto State was elevated to the High Court Bench on 12th February 2015; and Paul Ahmed Bassi from Borno State was appointed to the High Court on 14th July 2017.

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