More than 22, 000 cases, including motions, civil and criminal cases are currently pending in various courts in Cross River state.
Disclosing this in Calabar, the Acting Chief Judge, Justice Michael Edem said that the cases comprised 11,526 civil cases, 8,027 criminal cases and 3,457 motions.
Justice Edem, who said this at the thanksgiving service held in Calabar, the state capital to mark the beginning of the 2017/2018 legal year, noted that this was due to the fact that since the expiration of the tenures of President and members of customary courts in 2015, none has sat for hearing.
Absence of the Judicial Service Commission meant the courts will not be constituted but, with the recent constitution of the commission, Justice Edem expressed hope that the courts will resume hearing of cases soon and warned against corrupt practices.
“The prying eyes of the public are on us all because if one finger of any hand of the judiciary is soiled by oil, the oil shall spread and pollute the entire body.
“The judiciary would not be a collective victim of an individual malfeasance and I will let go the axe ruthlessly on anyone who does that; to this end, I have set up a secret monitoring agency to spy and report to me all acts of corruption no matter how slight,” he said.
He cautioned Judges and Magistrates against laziness and urged them to ensure speedy dispensation of justice.
“If for any reason a judge or a Magistrate would not sit for two days, he must seek and have my leave.
“Beyond that, the cogent cause would become a deliberate cause which cannot be tolerated,” Justice Edem said.
He called on the judiciary staff to respect lawyers but warned against any handshake that goes beyond the elbow.
He advised court clerks to ensure courts sit on time and every day.
News source: Dailypost.ng|RATIONALTV.blogspot.com