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Over 128,000 Cases Pending At Federal High Court, Says CJ

Emmanuela Obaje-Daniels  
Updated December 17, 2021
A file photo of security operatives at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

 

No fewer than 128,000 cases are pending at various divisions of the Federal High Court across the country, the Chief Judge of the court, John Tsoho, has said.

He revealed this in his remarks at a special session to mark the commencement of the new legal year of the court on Thursday in Abuja.

Addressing a cross-section of justices at the ceremonial court, the chief judge revealed that thousands of criminal cases were filed between September 2020 and June 2021.

“There were 40,822 civil cases; 30,197 criminal cases; 35,563 motions and 20,258 fundamental rights enforcement applications pending at the end of that legal year,” he said.

“The total number of cases disposed of during that year was 6, 915 cases; with a total of 128, 234 pending at the end of the legal year.”

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Justice Tsoho stated that more cases were filed, and the dockets of the judges became enormously loaded following the improvement in the control of the COID-19 pandemic.

But he believes with the appointment of new judges almost completed, the court will be able to tackle the problems.

The chief judge said he remained committed to enhancing effective administration of justice and the welfare of judges and staff, noting that several practice directions have been issued to ensure seamless and robust administration of justice.

Despite the low budgetary allocations to the judiciary and the Federal High Court in particular, he stated that the training and retraining of judges and staff have continued.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, was represented at the event by the Acting Director of Civil Appeals, Tijani Gazali.

He commended the court for its effort in straightening the country’s justice system, especially the recent declaration of banditry as a terrorist organisation.

According to the minister, such a step will further strengthen the fight against banditry and other security threats in the country.

A representative of the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Kanu Agabi, who also spoke, described judges and lawyers as agents of change.

He, therefore, urged them to shun all forms of corruption.