In line with the provisions of the law, the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomole, yesterday signed the amendment bill repealing the Act that established the Customary Court of Appeal in the state.
While speaking with newsmen, Oshiomole said that “I have just signed into law the bill to repeal the establishment of the Customary Court of Appeal in Edo State. With effect from today, the Customary Court of Appeal cease to exist and this amendment to the Edo State High Court provides for, among other things, the abolition of the Customary Court of Appeal. It also provides for the automatic transfer of all the Judges that are currently serving in the Customary Court of Appeal and they will be transferred to the State High Court."
The transfer of the Judges to the State High Court would increase the number of the State high court judges from 24 to 30
According to the Governor of the State, about six thousand (6000) cases were pending before the high court and the number of judges available to hear this suits were just twenty four (24), but would the scrapping of the Customary Court of Appeal, more hands would be on deck.
While stating his position, the Governor said that the new development in the state would serve as a means of ensuring quick dispensation of justice and would prevent gridlock in the judicial system.
Furthermore, Governor Adams Oshiomole stated that the new high court judges would now have the opportunity of hearing diverse cases and would not just be restricted to the appeals from the customary courts and the area courts in Edo State.
As regards the previous positions held by these judges, Governor Adams Oshiomole noted that, although, the law requires that the judges be sworn-in, they would retain their seniority.
Varying reactions have flowed in regarding the Edo State Governor's decision. To some, Adams Oshiomole made a wrong decision and that scrapping of the Customary Court of Appeal is definitely not the right solution to the limited number of high court judges in the state neither is it an effective solution to quick justice dispensation.
The move is indeed controversial as some others have commended the State Governor on his decision and are at the same time optimistic about improvements in the state judiciary.