Appeal Court Sets Up Panels To Decongest Backlog Of Appeals

A file photo of security operatives at the court of Appeal Headquarters in Abuja.

 

The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, has set up seven special panels saddled with the responsibility of decongesting the backlog of appeals.

She disclosed this on Monday in Abuja, on the occasion of the maiden edition of the meeting with presiding justices of the 20 Divisions of the Court of Appeal tagged: Working Conference of the Presiding Justices of the Court of Appeal.

Justice Dongban-Mensem explained that setting up the special panels became necessary in view of the lingering appeals clustering the court.

She blamed the development on what she described as the unwillingness of some litigants who have failed to file complete processes.

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“The Court of Appeal cannot be used as a tool in the hands of these litigants who go into a deep slumber.

“All notices of appeal filed without being followed with other processes to ensure quick prosecution and disposal of the appeal should be shown the way out,” the justice said.

She added, “We have sufficient provisions in our rules, which are backed by constitutional provision for the disposal of matters in court.”

The Appeal Court president noted that since presiding justices were heads of the divisions, they can go ahead and take charge and keep up with the tempo in their various jurisdictions.

“In a nation with teeming unemployed graduates and restive youths, we must do our part to create jobs by ensuring that all appeals are heard expeditiously, especially those which involve corporate bodies and businesses which can provide jobs for our youths,” she said.

The working conference, the first of its kind, was specially chosen to promote a sense of togetherness by enabling the most experienced minds to be deployed on special decongestion panels that would tackle the most congested divisions.

The special panels are expected to sit in two sessions daily and will work for three days to depose of over 100 motions filed at various divisions of the court.

CJN Swears In Dongban-Mensem As Court Of Appeal President

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, speaks during the inauguration of Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem as the President of the Court of Appeal in Abuja on June 19, 2020.

 

 

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, has sworn in Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem as the President of the Court of Appeal.

The swearing-in ceremony held on Friday at the conference room of the CJN’s office in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He asked the newly sworn-in appellate court president to discharge her duties to the court without fear or favour.

Justice Muhammad also advised her to work closely with presiding justices of the Court of Appeal to achieve great strides in the nation’s judicial system.

He said, “Certainly, you will see that there is no court in this country that has the number of justices that the Court of Appeal has.

“Therefore, that shows you that the Court of Appeal is home of work, the Court of Appeal is home of cooperation; you have to cooperate together, all of you from top to bottom so that the work will continue to progress.”

After taking the oath of office, Justice Dongban-Mensem promised the CJN that she would contribute her quota to the growth of the nation’s judiciary.

On their part, Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, and Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary, Onofiok Luke, outlined their expectations from the Court of Appeal going forward.

The event had in attendance families, friends, colleagues of Justice Dongban-Mensem, as well as top government officials who stormed the venue to celebrate with her.

President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the appointment of Justice Dongban-Mensem to act as the President of the Court of Appeal from March 6, for an initial period of three months.

This followed the retirement of Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, as well as the recommendation of Justice Muhammad in line with the provisions of Section 238(4) & (5) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

Following the completion of the initial period, the President announced on June 8 that he had forwarded the name of Justice Dongban-Mensem to the Senate for confirmation, in line with the recommendation of the National Judicial Council.

After receiving the President’s request, the lawmakers in the Senate confirmed Justice Dongban-Mensem as the President of the Court of Appeal, paving the way for her inauguration.

Buhari Appoints Justice Dongban-Mensem As Acting Appeal Court President

A file photo of the Court of Appeal in Abuja.

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem as the acting President of the Court of Appeal.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, announced this in a statement on Thursday.

He explains that the appointment, which takes effect from Friday, is for an initial period of three months.

Shehu added that Justice Dongban-Mensem would act in an acting capacity until when the incumbent president of the court, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, would statutorily retire from service.

“Justice Dongban-Mensem, who is the next most senior judge of the Court of Appeal, will be acting pending when a substantive appointment to the position of the President of the Court of Appeal may be made by President Buhari subject to the confirmation of the Senate,” the statement said.

The presidential aide said the approval of Justice Dongban-Mensem appointment followed the recommendation of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad.

The recommendation, Shehu said, was made in line with the provisions of Section 238(4) & (5) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.