Following avalanche of criticism that trailed Supreme Court’s stay of proceedings on Senate President Bukola Saraki’s trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, Justice John Afolabi Fabiyi yesterday called for abolition of interlocutory appeal.
Justice Fabiyi, who retired yesterday after attaining the mandatory retirement age of 70, said, “It is time to do away with the right of appeal to the Supreme Court from interlocutory decisions adding that such appeal should terminate at the Court of Appeal.
“The constitution should, in my opinion should be amended to make changes in the interest of reducing the workload of the court and the interest of saving legal expenses to litigants as the present system exposes litigants to unnecessary extra level of appeal.
“The direct concomitant of the change is the possibility of expeditious determination of cases that come before the Supreme Court, he added while speaking at a valedictory court session in his honor.
He said the Supreme Court, which is saddled with the responsibility to uphold norms and rule of law, is vested with all unprecedented powers and jurisdiction, saying also that the apex court had protected the interest of the people and safeguided the independence of the judiciary, as it never failed in upholding fair hearing and rule of law principles as engrained in the grand norms.
According to the retired justice, the Supreme Court has contributed to the strengthening of the country’s national unity and fostered a distinct sense of constitutional patriotism.
In his remarks at the valedictory session, the president of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Augustine Alegeh (SAN) apologised on behalf of the Bar over attacks on the decisions of justices of the Supreme Court.
Alegeh described Justice Fabiyi as a quintessential gentle man, a legal colossus and a jurist per excellence who had contributed immensely to the development of the nation’s judiciary.
Also speaking at the session on behalf of the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigerian, Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim (SAN) said honest and diligent judges in this country sometimes had been subjected to malicious attacks, particularly by politicians who believed they must have their ways all the time, saying that Justice Fabiyi might have had his share on such attacks at one time or the other.
On the debate for or against establishment of special court to try corruption cases, the former Attorney General of the Federation said he did not believe in special court or that the nation needed special court to deal with corruption.

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