From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano
The President of Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa on Monday, said the 19th Division of Court of Appeal in Kano will bring succour to litigants from Kano and Jigawa states who hitherto have suffered frustration travelling faraway Kaduna state in search of Justice.
Bulkachuwa who commissioned the Kano Court of Appeal before Kano state Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and Jigawa state Governor, Abubakar Badaru, also revealed that the large chunk of cases pending in Kaduna Appeal Court were from Kano and Jigawa states, pointing out that establishment of Court of Appeal in Kano will enhance access to justice and speedy
disposal of cases, as well as the efficient administration of justice.
According to her, establishment of Court of Appeal in Kano will reduce the cost of litigation, adding that, “today, we are again witnessing another commissioning of a new division of Court of Appeal in Kano, Kano state. In the Nigerian judicial system, the
Court of Appeal is second in the hierarchy of the Court, and next to the
“As a result, this is an important occasion, not only for the Court of Appeal, but also for the entire Nigeria Judiciary.
“The Court of Appeal is primarily an Appellate Court, It hears appeal from the Federal High Court, the High Court of a state, the High Court of the Federal Capital territory, the National Industrial Court, the Shariah Court of Appeal of a state (including Abuja), the Customary Court of Appeal for both Abuja and the states, the Code of Conduct Tribunal, the Election Tribunals and other Tribunals as established by the Acts of the National Assembly.”
She further stated that, “in the judiciary, expansion through the establishment of a new division is an aspect of the Judicial Reform Agenda, which is to enhance access to justice and speedy disposal of cases, as well as the efficient administration of justice.
“The above principle is so fundamental to the extent that in times of severe austerity when government and businesses are made to close down, the judiciary will still be expanding, even at such times.
“It is as a result of the foregoing reasons that the Court of Appeal seeking to increase the number of divisions to reduce difficulties associated with long distance travels to the Court as well as the cost of transportation, cost of litigation
and the delays due to congestion.
“Eight of the existing divisions are always busy. The Kaduna Division which covers Jigawa, Kano and Katsina states is one of these busy Divisions.
“Private studies necessitated by numerous requests from Kano state chapter of the Nigeria Bar Association and the Kano state Government revealed that large number a large number of appeal cases in the Kaduna division emanate from Kano and Jigawa states; hence, the need to create a division of the Court of Appeal in Kano.
“Secondly, the distance between Kaduna and Jigawa has frustrated many Appeals from Jigawa state.
“Your Excellency, the Executive Governor of Kano state and the people of Kano state and Jigawa state, distinguished Ladies and gentlemen, we are here today in Kano to commission the Kano division of the Court of Appeal and to maintain an
effective presence in this city.
“It is our hope and prayer that after this commissioning, it will be possible for us to continue to operate on a very peaceful and conducive atmosphere and to do our duties to all and sundry without fear or favour, and in accordance to our Oath of Office.
“It is also my prayer that those who come to us to seek justice will leave this temple of justice fully satisfied in every case, not only that justice has been done, but it will manifestly seen to have been done.”
Speaking during the occassion, Kano state Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, noted that, “we the people of Kano state particularly thank the President of the Appeal Court. If not because of approval as the President of the Court of Appeal, we will not have been here today for the commissioning of the Court of Appeal, Kano.
“Kano, today is the most popular state in Nigeria. It is common knowledge that places where there are commercial activities, naturally, disputes among individuals are high in number, hence, Kano has a large number of cases pending in various courts in the state.
“Many litigants are desirous of challenging decisions of various state courts before the Court of Appeal, but they find it difficult to take care of themselves and their lawyers in faraway Kaduna state where the Court of Appeal is located.
“In other words, the poor do not utilize their right of appeal no matter how good the grounds of appeal are. I feel sad to see such kind of people that the system denies them access to justice, but the rich are enjoying the same right.
“The decision to have the Court of Appeal in the city of Kano amounts to bringing justice to the door steps of the common man; and even the rich.
“Increasing access to justice amounts to strengthening the peace, stability and security in the state. It will certainly enhance commercial activities. Boosting commercial activities provides employment opportunities, increases revenue generation that brings about development.
“Therefore, having this court within Kano means a lot to the people of Kano and the state government.”
Ganduje added that himself and Governor Badaru have agreed to foot all the bills for the construction of the permanent site of the Kano Court of Appeal complex to be named after Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa.
Among dignitaries who graced the occasion include Jigawa state Governor, Abubakar Badaru, Judges from various divisions of the Court of Appeal, judges from the Supreme Court, among others.
The AUTHORITY reports that Justice Abubakar Datti Yahya has been posted to serve as the presiding Judge of the Kano Court of Appeal, while Justices Habib Adewale Abiru and A.A. Wambai will also sit on Appeal in the new division, which will serve Kano and Jigawa states.