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Customary Court Of Appeal President Decries Neglect Of The Court


…As NGO  Trains Five Communities On Procedures For Filing Cases


President, Customary Court of Appeal, Enugu State, Hon.(Mrs) V.N. Nebo has frowned at the  neglect of customary courts in Nigeria, including Enugu.

courtShe regretted that governments had over the years, continued to lay much emphasis on the conventional or regular courts, while the lower ones such as customary courts  are relegated to the background, despite the vital role they play in the society.

She therefore, appealed to policy makers to begin to accord that branch of the judiciary the recognition it deserves, saying no state in Nigeria including Enugu could function effectively without customary courts.

According to her,” over emphasis is paid to the conventional or the regular courts such as High Courts, Federal High Courts, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court among others.

Hon. Nebo, spoke Monday in Enugu during a one day media roundtable organised by an Enugu based non-governmental organsition, NGO women Information Network, WINET in conjunction with Justice for All (J4A) Programme Nigeria/ DFID.

Represented by the Deputy Chief Registrar, Customary Court of Appeal, Mr. Tom Anyafulude, the president, though, expressed happiness that many people are beginning to see the need to seek alternative dispute resolution and are now seeking recourse to customary courts.

Nebo noted that the regular courts entailed a lot of bottlenecks whereas it is easier to access justice through the lower courts which customary court is one of them.

She disclosed that Enugu State has about one hundred and forty-two (142) customary courts scattered all over the 17 local government areas of the state, calling on the people to always embrace them for their dispute resolutions.

In her speech, senior programme officer, WINET, Ijeoma Obinna Onwuka, explained that “we are organising this media roundtable on the customary courts system in Enugu state under a project entitled “Raising Awareness for the utilisation of customary courts in five communities in Enugu state”

The project according to her, is being supported by Justice for All (J4A) programme Nigeria/DFID, adding that the communities are Ogui- Nike, Obeagwu- Ozalla, Maryland, Nike- Uno and Obioma.

“Under the one year project, which commenced in May 2013,and will end in April 2014, we carried out some activities which include the publication of training manual entitled procedure.

For commencing cases in customary courts in Enugu state.  The pamphlet Mrs. Onwuka said, listed all the 142 customary courts in Enugu state, their locations, and areas of jurisdiction, adding that other are advocacy and mobilisation visits to traditional rulers as well as training of  people of the project communities on procedures for commencing cases in customary courts.

Declaring the event which was also graced by the Regional programme coordinator (J4A) Mrs. Josephine Onah open, Enugu state Attorney General, and Commissioner for justice Anthony Ani (SAN) applauded WINET for putting together the exercise, saying the state government takes issues relating to judiciary very seriously.

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