Anambra State Judicial Service Commission, JSC, has recommended the transfer of the three Judges serving in the state Customary Court of Appeal and subsequent scrapping of the court in view of its low patronage.
The JSC argued that Anambra State would not lose anything by scrapping the Customary Court of Appeal since the Federal counterpart funding accruing to the Customary Court of Appeal of Anambra State would remain intact as the allocation is received per head of all existing Judges, including emoluments and overhead receipts from the NJC.
Speaking during the press conference in Awka yesterday, the Executive Secretary of the state JSC, Mr. Christian Nnabuihe said the state Chief Judge, Justice Peter Umeadi, who is the state chairman of JSC, has been mandated by the commission to communicate the recommendation to Governor Willie Obiano and the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, who is the chairman of the National Judicial Council, NJC, for necessary actions.
According to him, the commission, in her 227th regular meeting held on the 24th June, 2016, and in the exercise of its powers under Section (6) (a) of Part 11 of the Third Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, and after an exhaustive deliberation, thoroughly considered the correspondences, relevant documents and the attachments from the three Judges of the Customary Court of Appeal of Anambra State demanding transfer, in view of lack of enough work to do at the Customary Court of Appeal.
He said the three Judges namely, Justice A.O. Ezeoke, Justice J.U. Obiora, and Justice C.E. Chukwurah applied on 5th January 2016, 7th April, 2016, and 13th June, 2016 respectively, adding that the chairman and members of the Commission present at the meeting unanimously observed that the affected Judges were still young and desirous of doing active judicial work and therefore needed to have their request considered.
The Commission said, “The fact that as at June 2016, the number of cases before the Customary Court of Appeal stood at three, more so when those cases are almost ready for judgment, with possibility that there would be no further work to be done at the Customary Court of Appeal, the Commission decided to communicate to Governor Obiano, to cause an executive Bill, to be presented to the House of Assembly of Anambra State to authorise the closure of the Customary Court of Appeal of Anambra State and thereafter prevail on the National Judicial Council to transfer the Judges to remain and serve out their terms in the High Court of Justice of Anambra State.”

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