Nigeria’s 17th Court of Appeal Inaugurated in Delta

The President of the Appeal Court, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, on Monday, inaugurated the 17th Division of the Court in Asaba.

Bukalchuwa, at the ceremony, said the branch would help address the existing ”traffic and congestion” in the court as well as reduce the attending costs of accessing justice by litigants across the country.

She said the court, located on Mariam Babangida Way, in the Delta capital, met international standards.

She said the appellate court at inception in 1976, had only three judicial division: Lagos, Kaduna and Enugu .

She said: “In 1977, the number was increased to five with the establishment of Benin and Ibadan divisions; subsequently other divisions were added and the court had 16th division as at yesterday.

“Today, we are here to commission the 17th Division if the Court of Appeal in Asaba, Delta.

“The establishment of the new division is an aspect of the judicial reform agenda to enhance access to justice and speedy disposal of cases as well as efficient administration of justice.

“It is for this reason that the court of appeal is seeking to increase the number of its divisions to reduce difficulty associated with many distance travels, cost of transportation and delay due to congestions.”

She lauded the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa and all who made it possible for the court to be established, and prayed that it would serve the citizens in fairness and equity.

On his part, Okowa said that the inauguration of the court complex remained a thing of great joy, satisfaction, hope and fulfillment to the legal profession and the people of the state.

“The opening of this court today demonstrates our commitment to the rule of law and social justice.

“Before now, Delta was served by the Court of Appeal, Benin Division; with growing economic, political and social activities, the judges were overburdened.

“It might interest us to know that between 50 and 60 per cent of the recent election petitions that went up to the court of appeal in Benin were from Delta state alone.

“The creation of the Court of Appeal, Asaba Division, is therefore a welcome relief.

“It will de congest the court’s cause list and eliminate the attendant risks and costs associates with frequent trips to Benin and back to Delta,” he said.

He expressed hope that the court would ensure speedy access to justice in a cost-effective manner and its presence as a federal institution would enhance the profile of the state, create job and impact positively of the retail economy. NAN

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