Appointing more judges not the solution to delayed cases – Acting CJN

The acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, says the appointment of more judges would not solve the number of delayed cases facing the judiciary.

Onnoghen, who spoke Monday in Lagos while inaugurating the newly refurbished building of the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal on Lagos Island said the Supreme Court those not need 21 Justices prescribed by the constitution.

He said the 17 Justices of the Supreme Court were enough if the number of appeals proceeding to the appellate and apex courts was regulated.

The acting CJN said, “We always think that we can solve the problem of congestion in our courts by appointing more judges or Justices, creating more divisions of the court, because the idea is that the more you have the lesser the workload in court, but it has not been so, but it has not been proven right. It has rather been proven wrong, because the more divisions you create, the more cases get filed; the more judges and Justices you appoint, the more cases that get filed; which points to the fact that we have really not hit the nail on the head.

“The solution lies in making every appeal to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court by leave. That is where the solution lies, it doesn’t lie in multiplying the number of divisions and the judges. No. It lies in controlling the jurisdiction of the court, the quantity, the number of cases that get to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.”

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