The Nasarawa State government, yesterday, announced the merging of the state’s Customary of Appeal with the High Court.
Governor Umaru Al-Makura announced the merger during the retirement and valedictory court session in honour of Justice Jibril Idrisu, the President of the state Customary Court of Appeal.
Al-Makura, who was represented by his Deputy, Silas Agara, said the decision was based on the advice of the National Judicial Council (NJC).
“Government has observed that over the years, the Customary Court of Appeal has continued to record less number of cases.
“And this recurrent experience at the court is below the average numbers of cases to be disposed in any judicial year and is equally below the national standard,” he added.
Al-Makura said that “in view of this ugly experience,’’ NJC had written to the state government in 2016 on the need to merge the court with the state high court.
He added that based on the advice by NJC, “the government had to take this painful decision of merging Customary Court of Appeal with the state’s High Court.’’
He said the government has set up a committee chaired by the Commissioner of Justice and Attorney-General, Yusuf Shehu, to work out the modalities for the merger and summit its report in two weeks.
“The committee would work out plans to transfer the remaining Judge of the Customary Court and other staff of the court to High Court and place them in the appropriate positions,” he added.
He said that the government would initiate a process of repealing the law establishing the court and amend the High Court law to accommodate the development.
Earlier, the retired judge appealed to the state government to allow the court to continue to operate due to customary issues in the state.
Idrisu, who noted that each state had its challenges, said that other states still have their customary court operating.