The President of Nigeria’s Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa has commissioned the Court of Appeal Division in Gombe, which will receive appeal cases from Borno, Gombe and Yobe States.
Justice Bulkachuwa said the establishment of the Appeal Court Division in Gombe became necessary, following requests by the Nigerian Bar Association in Gombe, Borno and Yobe due to the distance to Jos from the states, was frustrating their appeals of many cases in Jos.
She said the establishment of the Appeal Court in Gombe State therefore reduces the difficulties associated with long distance travels to the courts, cost of transportation and the days, due to court congestions.
Justice Bulkachuwa said the Court of Appeal at inception in 1976 had only three judicial divisions, it then increased to five in 1977 and it now at present had 20 divisions.
She said expansion through the establishments of new divisions of the court was an aspect of the judicial reform agenda of the Nigerian judiciary, to enhance access to justice and speedy disposal, as well as efficient administration of justice.
Justice Bulkachuwa, said this however, did not mean it should perform its judicial functions any less.
“I pray that the Gombe Division will only be the 20th in number, but in number and judicial and justice delivery, it will rank among the best,” Justice Bulkachuwa said.
In the meantime, Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State expressed optimism that the new Court of Appeal Division would help promote faster adjudication of judicial matters and increase access to justice for the people.
Governor Yahaya said the establishment of the Court in the state marked an important milestone in the development of the Judiciary, while emphasising that since its establishment in 1976, the Court of Appeal had continued to serve as an intermediary and appellate tribunal between the Supreme Court and the lower courts.
“It is for the respect I have for the constituted authority, rule of law and the principle of separation of powers that saw to the support of this government for the judiciary which has a crucial role in nation building,” Governor Yahaya said.
While commending the contribution of Justice Bulkachuwa to the growth and development of the Judiciary in the country, Governor Yahaya said it was because of that, that the state government deemed it fit to name the Women and Children Hospital in Gombe after her.