Law News
Appeal court moves to tackle frivolous adjournments

The Court of Appeal on Tuesday released a new practice direction, ‎which is to tackle frivolous applications for adjournments among other problems associated with the proceedings at the appellate court.

President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, said this during the presentation of the Court of Appeal (Fast Track) Practice Direction, 2014, in Abuja.

She said the new practice direction focused on debt appeals, appeals pertaining to or connected with corruption, human trafficking, kidnapping, money laundering and rape and terrorism.

Justice Bulkachuwa added that the new practice direction covered appeals by or against such national human rights, intelligence, law enforcement, prosecutorial or security agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

She said, “Just as it’s contained in the Court of Appeal Rules, 2011, paragraph 8 of the‎ Court of Appeal Practice Direction, 2014 provides for the limitation of pages of briefs.

“In interlocutory appeal, briefs are limited to 15 pages while in final appeals they are limited to 25 pages. The type of paper, the font as well as its size and the line spacing to be used in briefs are also expressly stated in the practice direction.

“It also kicks against frivolous applications for adjournments and allows a party to change its counsel at any time without the court’s prior permission, with‎out the outgoing counsel’s co-operation and without giving reasons.

“Therefore change of counsel will not be a basis for adjournment in fast track appeals.”

‎Others, who were at the event, included the Presiding Justice of the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal, Justice Amina Augie; Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta; and the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Justice Ibrahim Bukar.

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