President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa, has listed the need for improved access to justice, speedy disposal of cases and efficient administration of justice as reasons for the establishment of new divisions of the appellate court across Nigeria.
Justice Bulkachuwa stated this, yesterday, at the commissioning of the new Court of Appeal in Kano State.
The ceremony was attended by Governors of Kano and Jigawa states, judges and stakeholders in the judicial sector.
Bulkachuwa said additional divisions of the courts would reduce the transport cost and inconveniences associated with long distance travels to appeal courts as well cut down on cost of litigation and delays that arise due to congestion.
She explained that investigations revealed that a large number of the appeal cases in Kaduna emanated from cases in Kano and Jigawa states, while adding that they also discovered that the distance between Kaduna and Jigawa had frustrated many appeals from Jigawa in the court of appeal.
She expressed hope that appeal court judges would,”Do duty without fear or favour, affection or ill will and in accordance with our oath of office” while praying that, “those who come to us to seek justice would always leave this temple of justice fully satisfied that in every case, not only had justice been done to their courses, but that it is seen to have been done.”
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje said that the decision to have an appeal court in Kano amounted to bringing justice to the doorsteps of the common man even as he said the state qualified to host the court given its size, its commercial antecedents and long judicial history.
He regretted that before now, many litigants desirous of challenging the decisions of various state courts had failed to do so, given the cost of having to take such cases to kaduna and also having to transport and accommodate lawyers.