110,000 cases pending in Nigerian courts

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The extent of the congestion in Nigerian courts and the slow machinery of justice was revealed today by Justice Umaru Eri, the administrator of the National Judiciary Institute. At the commissioning of a multi-door court in Katsina, Eri revealed that about 110,000 undecided cases are pending before the Supreme Court and other lower courts across the nation.

Eri, who was represented by Mr Gilbert Tor, said that 10,000 different courts in the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, were handling the cases under reference.

He said the ratio showed that 40,000 people depended on one judge and a lawyer for litigation, hence the need to have more judges to quicken the dispensation of justice.

According to him, the establishment of multi-door court will help in reducing the pending cases if effectively utilised as people get enlightened on the importance of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

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Governor Ibrahim Shema said the government had allowed the judiciary autonomy to discharge its responsibilities as each arm of government works for the good of the people. He underscored the need for continued collaboration between the police and the judiciary in dispensing justice, saying that such a synergy would ensure peace and security in the country.

The State Chief Judge, Justice Sadiq Abdullahi Mahuta, said that multi-door court was ‘’a major component of strengthening the integrity and capacity of Nigerian Judiciary’’as the major objective of such a court will be to provide the ADR mechanism aimed at resolving simple disputes.

Mahuta said that socio-economic and domestic disputes would get resolved by the multi-door court and expressed the hope that people would avail themselves of this opportunity.