Alex Enumah in Abuja
As part of efforts to improve the speedy administration of justice in Nigeria, a senior advocate, Chief Ogwu Onoja, SAN, yesterday argued for the establishment of regional supreme courts.
Onoja explained that regional supreme courts, once established, should be responsible for handling cases that should not be brought before the central supreme court.
As part of the improvement in the country’s case law, the senior counsel also believes that it is high time for the Supreme Court bench to consider some of its dissenting judgments as law.
He was speaking at the public presentation of a book on the “dissenting judgments of a retired Supreme Court Justice, Ejembi Eko in Abuja”.
Speaking against the backdrop of the exhaustion of judges on the Supreme Court bench, Onoja lamented that the Supreme Court would continue to be overstretched with an unprecedented number of cases unless something was done to remedy the the situation.
Onoja, whose law firm assembled the book, disclosed cited cases such as land disputes, marriages and civil cases, among others, which are not expected to reach the central court but end up in regional supreme courts. , adding that issues such as politics and constitutional issues should be addressed. only by the Central Supreme Court.
Onoja insisted that regional supreme courts, as operated in the advanced countries of the world, would certainly ensure prompt and quality justice in Nigeria once enacted.
“With only 15 judges and mountains of cases, the Supreme Court will continue to be overworked. It is necessary to fill vacancies as soon as possible.
“Cases before the Supreme Court as it is currently constituted last more than ten years. This is one of the reasons why parties change according to death and disability.
“Right now, all kinds of cases such as marriages, land and employment matters end up before the only Supreme Court in the country. This trend is unnecessary as it affects the quality of justice in the country.
“Therefore, the Supreme Court should not be for all cases. There must be boundaries along the lines.
The lead lawyer said the book written in honor of retired judge Ejembi Eko from his dissenting judgments shows his courage as a maverick to do anything against the free flow of justice.
He called on the Supreme Court authorities to review some of the dissenting judgments and make them law where and when possible.
In his brief remarks, Justice Eko, who was very pleased with the presence of serving and retired Supreme Court justices and the SAN, instructed judges across the country to always speak their minds when they have strong ones. .
Among the Supreme Court justices on the occasion are Olukayode Ariwoola, Amina Augie and Uwani Musa Abba-Aji.