About 10,000 cases are pending at different Federal High Courts in Yenagoa, Bayless State, following the closure of the courts by the National Judicial Council (NJC). The state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Kemasuode Wodu and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Yenagoa and Sagbama lamented that federal courts including the National Industrial Court (NIC) had been shut for six months.
Speaking in Yenagoa on Friday, Kemasuode described the situation as worrisome, saying the two courts were closed down because the presiding judges, Justice Hajiya Nganjiwa of the Federal High Court, and Justice Terseer Agbadu-Fishim of NIC were being investigated by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged corruption.
Wodu said the legal practitioners and the government were worried that the courts were not sitting, adding that the courts had only one judge each. He noted that government sent a delegation to the relevant judicial authorities including the Chief Justice of the Federation, the Attorney-General of the Federation and the NBA on the matter without any success. According to him over 10,000 cases were pending in the courts following unavailability of judges.
He said apart from the Lagos, Abuja and Port-Hacourt divisions, Yenagoa was the next in terms of pending cases. He said: “As a government, we are seriously bothered about the non- sitting of the two courts. We hear that the two judges of the Federal High Court and the National Industrial Court are being investigated by security agencies.
“Unfortunately for us, the two courts have only one judge each hence the courts are not sitting. Apart from the Lagos, Abuja and Port-Harcourt Divisions of the Federal High Court, Yenagoa is next in terms of cases. These courts even require more than one judge each.”