Akwa Ibom State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Uwemedimo Nwoko, has declared that the state is ready to provide the needed infrastructure for the takeoff of the Uyo division of the Court of Appeal. He made the assertion as the Court of Appeal ended its outdoor sitting in the state Thursday, saying cases of Akwa Ibom origin accounted for 70 percent of litigations in the Court of Appeal, Calabar Division.
Nwoko said the sitting, which began in January, lasted for two weeks with the four justices of the Court of Appeal in Calabar, Cross River State and no fewer than 62 support staff relocating to Akwa Ibom.He explained that the outdoor sitting was necessitated by the need for special concentration on Court of Appeal cases of Akwa Ibom State origin, adding that establishing a Court of Appeal in the state was part of the reason the state government always sponsored regular outdoor sittings of the Court of Appeal in Uyo.
“It is to the credit of the present administration that they came last year and they are able to come again this year. It is also to the credit of Governor Udom Emmanuel, who has provided the enabling environment,” he said. He pointed out that the state government provided the infrastructure, the accommodation and all the basic logistics for the Court of Appeal to function during the outdoor services, adding that it was important because, during the sittings, cases could be abridged, so that as many cases as possible could be heard.
“The investment is worth it because it will help to galvanise the justice delivery system in the state being that whenever they come, they shorten the time within which parties take certain processes so that they can take as many cases as possible.
“For some of them, they can deliver judgements, while some are taken back to Calabar where they will communicate the date for judgements. It goes a long way in bringing justice closer to Akwa Ibom people. During their two weeks stay, the justices heard over 100 cases,” he added.
Outdoor sitting of the Court of Appeal, Calabar dated back to 2003 and it was designed to alleviate the burden of Co urt of Appeal litigants of Akwa Ibom State extraction, especially due to poor road network between the two states.
The Akwa Ibom State government under Governor Udom Emmanuel has made the practice more regular to help litigants who plying bad roads and other challenges in the course of litigation and pursuit of justice.
Earlier, lawyers who participated in the sitting expressed delight at the convention that saved them a lot of resources and energy regarding the difficulty associated with going to Cross River State for cases and advocated the creation of a Co urt of Appeal in Uyo. On the possibility of the creation of the Court of Appeal in Akwa Ibom, Nwoko expressed optimism, maintaining that the state government was ready to provide the needed infrastructure for its takeoff.