Kano State Government yesterday canvassed suspension of judges’ annual vacation in high and magistrate courts in the state, for speedy dispensation of justice, following the easing of lockdown in the state.
This is as the Chief Judge (CJ) of Jigawa State, Aminu Ringim, announced the cancellation of the 2020 court vacation in the state.
Kano Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ibrahim Muktar, made the call as the state’s CJ, Nura Umar, directed all magistrates to resume sitting yesterday.
Spokesman of the state’s judiciary, Baba Ibrahim, in a statement on Sunday, however, was not specific about the judges’ annual vacation from July to September.
Courts in the state had remained shut in the last three months due to the lockdown imposed by the Federal Government to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Baba, however, noted that the directive of the CJ became necessary following the easing of total lockdown by the state government last Friday.
Muktar, who applauded the CJ’s directive to re-open the lower court, however, made case for urgent resumption and full-scale activities of the judiciary in the state.
The AG noted that the judges would make good the vital instrument of justice and equity in their authority, if they give up another round of holiday, which would be due later in the month.
Regretting that closure of the courts in the last three months subverted justice, equity and fairness, he said the implication of shutting down the court for another two months would further burden the already over-crowded correctional centres while criminal cases would continue to multiply before the judges.
“I can confirm to you that all stakeholders, especially the litigants with pending cases, have been agitating for the re-opening of the courts from the indefinite closure due to the pandemic. Now, people will be happy with the decision of the CJ to re-open magistrate courts because that will further give hope to those seeking justice.
“But it will be more valuable and fair if the judges can forfeit their two months vacation. If they didn’t work for two months, though it was not their design, it is only just for them to compensate the litigants with the annual vacation,” Muktar noted.
On his part, Ringim said the cancellation in Jigawa was due to prolonged stay at home by the judges, due to the pandemic.
According to him, the volume of cases pending and the readiness of the judges to attend to such cases expeditiously with a view to decongesting correctional centres made the cancellation necessary.