Written by Sarah NEGEDU

Nigerians have confidence in FCT court processes - Bello

A high number of court cases in the Federal Capital Territory have been successfully settled out of court, following the innovations brought into the court system in the FCT.

The FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Bello, said the settlements also demonstrate the level of confidence the public has in court processes in the FCT.

Bello who made the observation at the opening ceremony of the 2019/2020 legal year of the FCT High Court, said the FCTA will continue to support courts initiatives designed to ensure that an efficient justice dispensation system is entrenched in the FCT.

In his words, “The innovations you have brought to the FCT court system and processes have encouraged many litigants to choose to have their cases heard in the FCT courts when such matters are sometimes outside your jurisdiction. This clearly demonstrates the level of confidence the general public has in our court processes here in the FCT.”

The Minister specifically commended the FCT judiciary for the innovations, like the Alternative Dispute Resolution, ADR, option which, he said, has helped in settling many land and property disputes which usually proved to be expensive and time wasting at litigation.

“The Alternative Dispute Resolution approach to resolving matters, which you have often advocated, has helped in settling many disputes in the FCT, especially land and property disagreements which have often proven to be costly and time wasting had they gone to litigation.”

He also pledged support for the High Court in its desire to make Abuja the Centre of Arbitration for local and international contracts. He said the move would be beneficial to the FCT considering the volume and importance of the transactions that occur in the nation’s capital.

The Minister also used the occasion to assure residents and visitors of the FCT of the determination of the FCT Administration to keep the territory safe, free of criminalities, while stressing that random acts of criminality will not be allowed to define the FCT.

In his remarks, the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, Justice Ishaq Usman Bello, urged lawyers to cultivate the habit of doing pro bono work of providing legal services to those who cannot afford to pay the fees. He said lawyers who engage in pro bono services will be rewarded as he had already introduced a merit award for lawyers who engage in such selfless services in the FCT.

The Chief Judge also assured all residents and visitors of the FCT that all case determinations will be according to merits and supported by the law, adding that no political, social, economic and other consideration will influence the outcome of any case.



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