Judge’s absence: Lawyers decry stalemate of cases in Jos Federal High court

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By; BUHARI B BELLO, Jos.

Some Lawyers in Jos on Monday decried the consistent stalemate of cases at the Jos Federal High Court II due to the absence of the Judge, Justice Musa Kuriya for the past three weeks.

However, the Station Registrar of the Jos Federal High Court, Barrister Nasir Hassan-Gusau pleaded with litigants and lawyers to be patient with the  court following the stalemate, which he said will end “very soon.’’

“I am assuring you that very soon the court will resume sitting but all the litigants and and their lawyers should understand with us and be patient for a while, ’’ Hassan-Gusau pleaded.

Our correspondent reported that in Jos that Justice Kuriya is among the six judges being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) for alleged corruption alongside some senior lawyers.

A reliable and anonymous source within the judicial circle in Jos told our Correspondent that since the Judge left in response to the commission’s summon ending of October, he has not allegedly returned back to Jos.

“The irony is that the court clerk keeps adjourning the cases in that court and telling litigants and lawyers that the court will sit the next day, with no avail as we talk now,’’ the source alleged.

Some of the lawyers spoke to complained bitterly over the continuous adjourning of cases with end even when they have been coming from far distances for their cases only to be told the judge was not sitting.

Mr David Ibeawuchi, who have been coming from Abuja with his colleague, Mr Aguiyi Ezeani for a post election Plateau House of Assembly matter involving Ibrahim Baba-Hassan and Abdul Saleh, expressed his sadness over the situation.

“My worry is that my case before this court is a Pre-election matter, with a year and seven months gone yet we haven’t done much on it.

“Again, I and my colleague have been coming all the way from Abuja for this case;this is the third adjournment we have taken and it is not always safe to travel this far and at the end the court won’t seat, ’’ he said.

“Did you see how we were fighting among ourselves over adjournment date for this ore-election matter? ’’

According to him, “while we, the counsels to the petitioner were asking for a short adjournment date, the defending counsels were rooting for a long date.’’

Also speaking, Barrister Ledak Dafer, Counsel to APC in the post election matter said, “I am certainly not happy with the development on hand because we have not heard from the judge all this while.’’

“I know Justice Kuriya as one of the best Judges in this country and a man of his words but his absence and silence is worrisome considering the stalemate in cases in the court,’’ he said.

Dafer quickly added that what might have caused the judge’s non-sitting could happen to anybody, which he said remains his consoling idea but called for drastic measures to be taken to address the stalemate.

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