Oyetola, stakeholders call for establishment of Court of Appeal division in Osun
Osun State governor, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, on Monday joined other stakeholders to call for the establishment of a Court of Appeal division in the state.
He made the call in Osogbo during the commencement of the special sitting of the Court of Appeal, Akure Division, holden at the High Court of Justice in Osogbo.
The two-week programme is meant to enable the appellate court to attend to the many pending cases before the Justices emanating from Osun State.
According to Oyetola, “I cannot end this address without lending my voice to the request of the stakeholders that you should graciously consider the possibility of having a Court of Appeal (division) sited in Osun State.”
“I want to assure you my Lords that our government would do everything possible to support this move.”
Other stakeholders in bench and bar in Osun, who made similar calls before the governor in separate speeches urged the visiting Justices to assist in making a case for the establishment of a division of the court in Osun state.
With not less than 250 cases, Osun State has the higher number of cases on appeal before the Justices of the Court of Appeal Akure Division which has appellate jurisdiction over Osun and Ondo States.
Monday’s special sitting in Osogbo Judicial Division would be the first time the Court of Appeal established 10 years ago, will move its sitting to Osun state to take justice closer to the people.
The Osun stakeholders, who called for the establishment of the Court of Appeal, include, Chief Judge of Osun state, Justice Bola Adepele Ojo; Osun-based Senior Advocates of Nigeria(SANs), Mr. Yomi Aliu (SAN) , members of the Osun State Chapters of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), and representative of senior legal practitioners in the state, Mr.Vincent Abiodun Akinleye, among others.
However, while describing the judiciary as a crucial arm of government, Oyetola said the Court of Appeal remains a strong pillar of judicial and political expedition.
The governor said:“Enthroning democracy and the rule of law in our nation’s Fourth Republic has been particularly challenging in our peculiar environment where democratic institutions are weak and are struggling for identity and credibility.
“In this 20-year-old challenging democratic journey, the judiciary has filled in the gap by providing the barometer for reaching the desired destination.
“At every turn, the judiciary has lived up to its billing as the last hope of the common man. Indeed, the nation owes the gradual sanitization and stability of our democracy to the Judiciary. Your Lordships, your current assignment in Osun State is in furtherance of the judiciary’s role as the arbiter and protector of the rule of law.
“The judiciary has played this role with vigour and unblemished integrity. It has demonstrated to the people that it remains the filtering agent when unscrupulous elements muddle up our judicial waters.”
“The Court of Appeal has established a reputation for itself as the home of landmark judgments in the nation.”
“In furtherance of your resolve to build sustainable democracy and a just and peaceful nation, I urge Your Lordships to continue to uphold the tenets that have endeared you to the people as an institution of nobility, integrity and trust,” Oyetola asserted.
In her remark, the Chief Judge of Osun State, Justice Adeleke Ojo, said the unprecedented special session was geared towards the facilitation of easy access to justice and bringing justice to the nooks and crannies of the state.
She said the establishment of a Division of the Court of Appeal in Osun would bring relief to the burden of the many pending cases.
“Without prejudice to the present arrangement, I am persuaded, having considered the number of appeal cases said to be from Osun state and now pending before the Akure Division,that the time has come for a Division of the Court of Appeal to be established in Osun state” Ojo stated.
She continued, “without equivocation, 250 cases pending before a Court especially at the appellate level without more, is a workload sufficient enough for that Court to worry about for the next 6 months, if not more.
”Permit me to say that if justice is not to be delayed and thus, denied, an immediate solution, such as the establishment of a Division of the Court of Appeal in Osogbo, Osun state ought to be proffered”, she stated.
The Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal Akure Judicial Division, Justice Oyebisi Omoleye promised to take the request for the establishment of the Court of Appeal in Osun to the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa
“In a very due course, we will bring to the attention of the President of the Court of Appeal in agitation for the establishment of a Judicial Division of the Court of Appeal in Osun state,” she said
Justice Omoleye who led the three other Judges: Justice Muhammed Danjuma; Justice Ridwan Abdullahi and Justice Patricia Ajuna Mahmoud, commended Governor Oyetola for his support for the judiciary and the temporary relocation of the Court to Osogbo.