Nigeria

Federal high court begins decongestion as new judges resume

A lawyer walks through the compound at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi district in Lagos, Nigeria, May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

The division of the Federal High Court in Lagos began decongestion and re-arrangement of court files on Tuesday, following resumption of court activities after the two-month-old strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN).

The registrars of various courts were busy sorting out court files, while others were seen moving files to different courtrooms.

JUSUN had, on April 6, began an indefinite strike action seeking implementation of financial autonomy for the judiciary.

The strike was, however, called off on June 9 after settlement talks had been reached between the union and relevant stakeholders.

Newsmen, who were present at the court in Lagos to review resumption, reports that registrars of the courts were all dutifully engaged in decongesting the courtrooms and moving files around.

Meanwhile, in an interview with newsmen, the Deputy Chief Registrar (DCR) of the court, Clement Ende, expressed delight over the resumption.

”The reason files are being moved around is because of the change in nomenclature and courtrooms. We have new judges,” she said.

Few weeks before the JUSUN strike, some judges were transferred to other jurisdictions.

As to when the courts will now fully commence sittings, Mrs Ende said, “that depends on the individual judges, as some of the new judges may want to first settle down and familiarise themselves with the courtrooms before beginning proceedings.

“So, let’s give them this week to look at their files as it is the first time they will be looking into the files and then give dates,” she said

According to her, the old judges may likely begin sitting by tomorrow, but the new ones may require a little more time, maybe next week.

The newly transferred judges are more likely to commence full sittings in the Lagos division from next week.

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