The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) said it embarked on appointment of new judges to ensure speedy dispensation of justice in the FCT.
A senior official of the court who spoke with Daily Trust on condition of anonymity, said the court had embarked on building new court facilities in more suburbs of the FCT before it recently concluded the process for the appointment of 33 new judges whose confirmation was pending.
Many lawyers have complained about slow dispensation of justice, with simple civil matters lasting an average of three years, while criminal cases drag for at least eight years in the courts.
Some lawyers point to the regular absence of the Chief Judge, Justice Ishaq Bello, who is often on national assignments as the Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Correctional Service Reform and Decongestion, and other technical and administrative gaps in the overall justice system as the reason for the delays.
The official said, “We are aware of those complaints. But the people should know that the work is enormous for judges of the court. We have had some deaths and retirements among judges in the last few months. This was why we requested for new judges, and the National Judicial Council (NJC) graciously approved it.
“We are making arrangement for more courtrooms to accommodate all the new judges, and we believe this will bring down the workload on the existing judges.”
The NJC, on April 26, named 70 new judges; 33 of them for the FCT High Court. The appointments have caused some controversy over allegations that the list comprised of persons who are close to some senior judicial officers.