The Chief Judge (CJ) of the Federal High Court (FHC), Justice John Tsoho, said 30,197 criminal cases were filed between September 2020 and June 2021.
Justice Tsoho made the disclosure, yesterday, while delivering a speech to formally declare the FHC 2021/2022 Legal Year open in Abuja.
The 2020/2021 legal year officially closed in July.
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Tsoho, while enumerating the status of litigation within the period under review, said no fewer than 20, 258 fundamental rights enforcement applications were still pending at the end of June.
The CJ, who said about 6, 915 cases were disposed of during the year, said a total number of 128, 234 cases were still pending at the end of the legal year.
He said the COVID-19 pandemic and the strike action embarked upon by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) between April 6 and June 14 hampered the last legal year.He noted that after the nominal improvement in the control of the coronavirus, more cases were filed and the dockets of the judges became enormously loaded.
Tsoho said as part of the effort to enhance high calibre service delivery, the management was in the process of appointing six judges and 15 more judicial officers.
The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said in spite of the challenges, the FHC had ensured justice delivery within time frame.
Malami, represented by the acting the Director, Civil Appeals, Tijani Gazali, SAN, commended the CJ on his leadership prowess.
He thanked the court for the effort in straightening the country’s justice system, especially the recent declaration of banditry as a terrorist organisation. He said this would further strengthen the fight against banditry in this part of the world.
Malami synergy was needed between the judiciary, executive and legislature towards the development of the country. Representative of the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Chief Kanu Agabi, SAN, described judges and lawyers as agents of change. He urged them to be ready to transform the nation “as the country looks unto us for guidance.”
Agabi called on the judges to shun corruption and all the evils associated with the vices.
“For judges, your courage must not fail you. As lawyers and judges, we have a common father in God and in our nation.
We must unite against violence; we must unite against corruption,” he said.
Court remands grave digger for allegedly raping 11-year-old girl
A grave digger has been remanded at the Olokuta Correctional Centre in Ondo State for allegedly raping an 11-year-old girl.
The 32-year-old grave digger, Seun Owoyemi was remanded by an Akure Magistrates’ Court.
Owoyemi was said to have lured the victim with N100 before forcefully having her carnal knowledge.
The defendant who lived close to the parents of girl’s house at Igesa Street, Igbara-Oke, Ifedore Local Government Area of the State Ondo State, was said to have committed the offence in January 10, 2022.
According to the prosecutor, Inspector Niyi Taiwo, informed the court that the defendant had carnal knowledge of of the girl twice.
The prosecutor added that the offence contravene the Provisions of the Criminal Code, Cap. 37, Vol. 1 Laws of Ondo State.
He urged the court for an order to remand the defendant in the Correctional Centre pending advice from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, DPP.
While pleading not guilty to the crime, the defendant denied the allegation, emphasising that it was a set up to implicate him by the victim and her grandmother.
In his ruling, the Magistrate, O.L. Abu, ordered that Owoyemi should be remanded at Olokuta Correctional Centre in Akure, the state capital.
The magistrate subsequently adjourned the case till February 28, 2021, after the prosecutor was directed to duplicate the case file and send to the DPP for advice.
Suspects arrested as hoodlums’ clash causes panic in Lagos
The Lagos State Police Command has confirmed the arrest of some suspects involved in the violent clashes that created tension in the Idumota and Oke Arin areas of the state.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Adekunle Ajisebutu, while reacting to the incident, said normalcy had been restored following a massive deployment of policemen in the areas.
He said, “Normalcy has since been restored following a massive deployment of policemen to the scene. Some arrests have also been made. Investigation has commenced.”
It was learnt that during the clash, traders and customers, residents and passersby scampered to safety to escape being hurt by the hoodlums engaging themselves in a supremacy clash.
The hoodlums were said to have taken advantage of the unrest to loot shops and rob people of their valuables.
Video clips of the clash trending online showed as people ran helter-skelter due to the tension created during the unrest.
Some victims were heard calling on the Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to intervene for peace to reign.