The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensen, yesterday said that the court has about 39,526 pending cases brought from the last legal year. Justice Dongben-Mensen made this known during a ceremony to usher in the 2023/2024 new legal year.
She disclosed that a total of 98 panels were constituted to hear election petitions across the country to handle a total of 1,209 petitions that were filed. Among the petitions, she said, five were filed at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal and have been concluded, while some of 147 filed at the Senatorial election tribunal have been delivered and 417 petitions from the House of Representatives election are also being attended to.
She also added that at a total of 557 petitions associated with the state Houses of Assembly, and 83 gubernatorial elections petitions are being disposed of, added that 28 states participated in the governorship elections, and petitions were filed in 24 of them. According to her, the Abuja division is currently overwhelmed by voluminous documents and suffers from a lack of adequate storage facilities and office space. She therefore appealed to the Minister of the FCT to provide a large piece of land for the construction of the Abuja Division.
Speaking on behalf of the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (BODAN) at the event, a former Minister of Justice, Kanu Agabi, SAN, said that Nigeria’s continued survival greatly depends on the transparency of judicial officers in the discharge of their judicial functions. In his speech, the Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), said that President Bola Tinubu’s administration will address the issue of shortage of Justices at the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.