The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) in Ogoja and Ikom branches in Cross River State have taken a swipe at the decayed infrastructure in the system which they describe as pathetic resulting in poor judiciary service delivery in the state.
Mr. S.E Adie Chairman NBA, Ogoja Brand, and K. Ntem Ikpi Chairman, NBA Ikom Branch spoke separately during the 2021/2022 legal year on Wednesday at the High Court complex, Calabar.
NBA Ogoja Chairman said that after surviving the pandemic, the hardship brought about by JUSUN strike members were now struggling to survive the very exorbitant filing fee in Cross River State, which has distanced the judiciary from being the last hope of the common man.
Adie also said that an 800% increase in filing fees has cryptically transformed the judiciary into a revenue-generating organ of government even more than the Local Government Councils, defeating the fundamental objectives of our Court System.
“We plead with my Lord CJ, to urgently look into the complaint of the common man through us and restore our courts back to the hope of the common man by forming a committee, which of course will include representatives from the three branches that will stop hardship on the people of Cross River State”
On the collapsing infracture, the chairman NBA Ogojo said High Court Ogoja has the only registrar with the instrument when he travels to transmit records to the court of appeal or is sick, a filling cannot take place and there is only one bailiff who is presently not working because of an accident he had.
He further said that High court Bekwarra has only two staff for the whole Court, which is unacceptable for the status of a High Court.
The NBA Chairman Ikom Branch Ntem Ikpi corroborated with his Ogoja counterpart revealing that Court 3 Ikom had collapsing infrastructure, while the renovation of the Chief Magistrates’ Court, Ugep was nearing completion when the rescuer lost his job about two years ago.
“The Court has been abandoned till date. All the Magisterial Districts there have no residential quarters for the magistrates. The generator and some other property of the High Court, Okodi have been stolen, while the DPO at Batreico has refused to post Court Duty policemen to the court in that area”