Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem has set up seven Special Panels to decongest the backlog of appeals pending before the court.
Meanwhile, the appellate court said it would not hestitate to strike out any pending appeals without complete processes.
Justice Dongban-Mensem announced this on Monday during the maiden edition of the meeting with Presiding Justices of the 20 Divisions of the Court of Appeal under the theme “Working Conference of the Presiding Justices of the Court of Appeal.”
The working Conference, which is first of its kind, was specially chosen to promote a sense of togetherness by enabling the most experienced minds to be deployed on Special de-congestion Panels that will tackle the most congested Divisions.
According to a statement by the Head, Information Department, of the court, Hajiya Sa’adatu Musa, the special panels which will be sitting in two sessions daily will work for three days to depose off over 100 Motions.
This became necessary in view of the lingering appeals clustering the Court due to what she described as the unwillingness of some litigants who go into deep slumber without filing complete processes.
Justice Dongban-Mensem said “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. We have sufficient provisions in our rules, which are backed by Constitutional provision for the disposal of matters in court.”
She noted that since Presiding Justices are heads of the Divisions, they can go ahead and take charge and keep up with the tempo in their various Divisions. “Since the Presiding Justices are heads of the Divisions, we have come out to dare to bite so that when we go back to our Divisions, we shall not forget to keep up the tempo.’’ she admonished.
“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.