The four branches of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Kogi, on Wednesday appealed to the President of the Court of Appeal to establish a division of the court in Lokoja, the state capital.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the association has already established a special committee to pursue the matter.
Mr Emmanuel Haruna, chairman of the committee, which comprises chairmen of Lokoja, Idah, Okene and Kabba branches of NBA, emphasized the need for the court during a visit to the Chief Judge of Kogi, Justice Nasir Ajanah, in Lokoja.
Haruna held that establishing a division of the appellate court in Kogi was long overdue, pointing out that more than 50 percent of appeals handled by the Abuja division of the court were from Kogi.
“Kogi has met all the requirements for the establishment of the court. The state was created 26 years, but it is yet to have an appeal court, while states like Ekiti, created five years after, already have a division of the court,” he argued.
Haruna bemoaned a situation where lawyers and litigants had often traveled to the Appeal Court in Abuja only to discover that their cases had not been listed for mention.
Responding, Justice Ajanah commended the committee for taking up the matter in the interest of their members and litigants, saying that the need for a division of the Appeal Court in Lokoja had been “on for a very long time”.
Ajanah said that he had met and discussed extensively with justices of the appeal court on the issue, adding that the state was requested to construct a befitting court building and accommodation for the judges.
The Chief Judge assured the NBA that he would do everything within his powers to actualize the dream, but challenged lawyers in the state to sit up and minimize incessant appeals for adjournment of cases.
He promised to take up the issue with Gov. Yahaya Bello to solicit support in meeting the requirements, and urged the committee to also meet the President of the Appeal Court on the matter.
13 April, 2017