Nosa Akenzua, Asaba
Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, President of Court of Appeal has commissioned the 17th Division of the Court of Appeal, Asaba, Delta.
Justice Bukalchuwa, who performed the function on Monday, said the Court met international standards and would address the existing traffic and congestion in the courts of appeal as well as reduce attending cost of accessing the justice by litigants.
According to her, the court of appeal at inception in 1976 had only three judicial division: Lagos, Kaduna and Enugu .
“In 1977, the number was increased to five with the establishment of Benin and Ibadan divisions, subsequently other divisions were added, the court had 16th division as at yesterday.
“Today, we are here to commission the 17th division if the Court of Appeal in Asaba, Delta.
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“The establishment of new division is an expect of judicial reforms agenda to enhance access to justice and speedy disposal of cases as well efficient adminstration of justice.
“It is for this reason that the Court of Appeal is seeking to increase the number of its division to reduce difficulty associated with many distance travels, cost of transportations and delay due to congestions”.
She lauded the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa and all who made it possible for the court to be established and prayed that the court would serve the citizen in fairness and equity with bias.
On his part, Okowa said that the inauguration of the court complex remained a thing of great joy, satisfaction and of hope and fulfilment for the legal profession and the people of the state.
“The opening of this court today demonstrate our commitment the rule of law and social justice.
“Before now, Delta was served by the Court of Appeal, Benin Division; with growing economic, political and social activities, the judges were overburdened.
“It might interest us to know that between 50 per cent to 60 per cent of the recent election petition cases that went up to the Court of Appeal in Benin were from Delta State alone.
“The creation of the Court of Appeal, Asaba Division is therefore a welcome relief, it would decongest the court’s Cause List.
“It will eliminate the attendant risks and costs associates with frequent trips to Benin and back to Delta,” he said.
The Governor expressed hope that the court would enhanced speedy access to justice in a cost -effective manner and its presence as a federal institution would enhance the profile of the state, create job and impact positively of the retail economy.
While appreciating the Federal Government, the CJN and the Judiciary, Okowa prayed this temple of justice will stand as a beacon of hope for all; rich and poor, mighty and the low, the powerful and the weak who week refuge and protection under the rule odlaw.
Mr Chiedu Ebie, Secretary to the State Government (SSG) in his address thanked the judiciary,, saying that the process that made today’s inauguration began on September 23, 2019.