30, 197 criminal cases filed in Federal High Court in 10 months, says Chief Judge


The Chief Judge (CJ) of the Federal High Court (FHC), Justice John Tsoho, says at 30, 197 criminal cases were filed between Sept. 2020 and June 2021.

Justice Tsoho disclosed this, on Thursday, while delivering a speech to formally declare the FHC 2021/2022 Legal Year open in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2020/2021 Legal Year officially closed in July.

Tsoho, while enumerating the status of litigation within the period under review, said no fewer than 20, 258 fundamental rights enforcement applications were still pending at the end of June.

The CJ, who said about 6, 915 cases were disposed of during the year, said a total number of 128, 234 cases were still pending at the end of the legal year.

“It is apt to state at this juncture, the status of litigation before this court in the past legal year.

“The 2020/2021 Legal Year officially closed in July, 2021.

“Within that year (i.e. September 2020 – June, 2021), a total of 8, 309 cases were filed.

“There were 40, 822 civil cases; 30,197 criminal cases; 35,563 motions and 20, 258 fundamental rights enforcement applications pending at the end of the legal year,” he said.

He said the COVID-19 pandemic and the strike action embarked upon by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) between April 6 and June 14 hampered the last legal year. 

He noted that after the nominal improvement in the control of the coronavirus, more cased were filed and the dockets of the judges became enormously loaded. 

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Tsoho said as part of the effort to enhance high calibre service delivery, the management was in the process of appointing six judges and 15 more judicial officers. 

“As I stated in the past, I am focused on my resolve to enhance effective administration of justice, welfare of judges and staff, and the overall management of the court, within the scope of the court’s resources.

“I promised to continue to improve on the achievements of my predecessors in office, in both human resources and infrastructural development, particularly, in the efficient and effective administration of justice, the welfare of judicial officers, as well as the support staff of this court based on Availability of funds,” he assured. The Attorney-

General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said in spite of the challenges, the FHC had ensured justice delivery within time frame. Malami, represented by the acting the Director, Civil Appeals, Tijani Gazali, SAN, commended the CJ on his leadership prowess. 

He thanked the court for the effort in straightening the country’s justice system, especially  the recent declaration of banditry as a terrorist organisation.  

According to him, this will further strengthen the fight against banditry in this part of the world. 

Malami stated that there is a required synergy needed by the judiciary, executive and legislature towards the development of the country.
IRepresentative of the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Chief Kanu Agabi, SAN, described judges and lawyers as agents of change.

He urged them to be ready to transform the nation “as the country looks unto us for guidance.”

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Agabi called on the judges to shun corruption and all the evils that are associated with the vices.

“For judges, your courage must not fail you. As lawyers and judges, we have a common father in God and in our nation.

“We must unite against violence, we must unite against corruption,” he said.



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