The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Nyesom Wike has called on the support of the judiciary in the quest to implement reforms that would not only restore the glory of the FCT, but also make it a source of pride for every Nigerian.
Wike who made this call at the 2023/2024 Legal Year Ceremony of the Court of Appeal, in Abuja on Monday, promised to address the accommodation challenge faced by justices in the federal capital, Abuja.
In the words of the Minister:”As we diligently work towards realising this vision of rejuvenating the FCT, we implore the judiciary to also stand beside us in this quest.
Wike also promised to address the accommodation challenge faced by justices in the federal capital, Abuja.
“We are not unaware of some of the challenges confronting the justices of this honourable court in the FCT, especially the problem associated with their accommodation.
“We will look closely at this matter to see how it can be best mitigated,” the minister said.
He said that Nigerians would continue to rely on the judiciary as a bastion of justice and an arbiter of disputes, describing it as critical to President Bola Tinubu’s renewed hope agenda.
“Your Lordships, we recognized that a strong and independent judiciary is pivotal to the preservation of justice, the protection of citizens’ rights, and the overall wellbeing of our society.
“Therefore, we are resolute in our determination to provide the necessary support to ensure the efficient functioning of the Court,” he said.
Wike commended the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, for the nine Justices that were recently sworn in.
This, according to him, will go a long way in reducing the workload on the justices of the Court and enhancing justice delivery in the country.
He said that the legal year event affords the court the opportunity to reflect on its successes and challenges in the previous year.
“This is with a view to celebrating those successes and working towards providing solutions to the challenges and projecting into the new legal year.
“Today’s event is therefore not just a ceremonial milestone; it is a testament to the enduring commitment of our legal fraternity to the pursuit of justice and the upholding of the rule of law.
“There is no doubt that the previous legal year has been tasking and demanding due to the numerous pre-election matters which gave birth to appeals from interlocutory decisions and final decisions of the Federal High Courts.
“This year might not be different in view of the numerous pending election appeals.
He noted that the Court of Appeal was the final Court for appeals arising from the National and State Houses of Assembly Election Tribunals.
He stressed that the public has tremendous faith in the decisions of the court, adding that the court equally has a responsibility to live up to that trust.
Earlier, the president of the appellate court, Dongban-Mensen, disclosed that a total of 39,526 appeal cases were pending at the court as at Aug. 31.
she added that the figure adds to the pending 34,037 cases in the 2021/2022 legal year.
She assured the public that the court would continue to discharge its responsibilities by ensuring that appeals were heard timeously with utmost dedication, commitment, and diligence.
On his part, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, promised that Tinubu’s administration would address the issue of shortage of justices at the court of appeal and the Supreme Court.