The 2023/2024 Ebonyi State judiciary Legal year ceremony has commenced in Abakaliki the state capital.
Justice Elvis Ngene the state Chief Judge, at the opening ceremony of the event, said the judiciary has about 13,918 cases pending in Ebonyi State High Court.
The chief judge explained that between 2022/2023, a total of 9,218 cases were filed at the high court while 11,389 cases were disposed of.
He said within the year under review, 15 new Magistrate were appointed by the Judicial Service Commission bringing the total number of Magistrate in the state judiciary to 47, the highest number in the history of the judiciary.
In his words, the availability of judicial personnel was critical to the provision of quality and efficient justice delivery and access to justice generally.
“Inadequacy of judicial personnel is part of the reason we have a backlog of pending cases in the dockets of the court and it is hoped that with this positive development, things will take a different turn in our Magistrate courts across the state.
“I urge the newly appointed Magistrates to brace up to the challenge of ensuring that they contribute their quota and make their presence felt in the vanguard of efficient and quick justice delivery”, the Chief Judge stated.
He further said the state judiciary has within the year under review vigorously pursued the welfare of the staff through training and retraining of the judicial personnel at all levels even with the tough economic status of the country.
Justice Ngene disclosed that the state government has been very supportive in ensuring that as much as possible, judges are enabled to carry out their duties with minimal or nil inconveniences.
“The lingering issues of the arrears of salaries and promotion of staff of the various courts have been finally laid to rest with every member of staff getting what was due to him or her”.
Earlier, the state Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the state Bar Ben Odoh said the present administration in the state has built a multi-door Courthouse that provides a range of justice mechanisms, including mediation, arbitration, and hybrid processes to promote dispute resolution outside the traditional adversarial court system.
Bar Odoh pointed out that the multi-door Courthouse will promote collaboration among justice professionals, community leaders, and traditional institutions to ensure culturally appropriate and accessible justice services.
Correspondent reports that the legal year celebration started with a church service at St. Theresa’s Catholic church Ogoja Road Abakaliki.
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