The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, Professor Charles Adekoya, has advocated the possibility of scrapping the Court of Appeal to enhance dispensation of justice without delay.
He said this while delivering the 103rd inaugural lecture of the university with the topic: ‘Betrayal Of The Poor In Accessing Justice in Nigeria: The Judas In Our Midst’.
Adekoya contended that the reduction of the layers of the court would expedite dispensation of justice, positing that cases from the High Courts and Courts of coordinate jurisdiction would lie straight to the Supreme Court.
The university lecturer, however, called for the creation of branches of the Supreme Court in the six geo-political regions of the country to ease the workload in addition to the one in Abuja.
He noted that a country like India with a population of 1.37 billion in 2022, has no Court of Appeal and the same with South Africa.
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The DVC said the process of scrapping the court of appeal would shorten the judicial ladder and bring the higher court nearer to the people.
He further explained that enforcing or protecting one’s right in a court of law in Nigeria remained expensive.
“The cost of engaging the services of a lawyer in fundamental enforcement cases depends on factors such as cause for action, location and the status of the person involved, and this cost could be about N300,000,00, and above, which is quite excessive for the poor in a country where the minimum wage is a meagre N30,000.00 per month for government workers’ only.
“In cases of appeal, the appellant has to contend with increased fees in addition to these already indicated which is far way beyond what the poor could afford.
“It means having the financial resources to activate these rights is very fundamental too and access to justice may be so hindered by poverty,” he added.