By Omeiza Ajayi – Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory Administration FCTA has pledged to partner the FCT High Court in the establishment of a Children and Young Persons’ Court in the territory.
FCT minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello who made the pledge at the opening of the 2019/2020 Legal Year of the FCT High Court, said his administration will support the court’s initiatives and innovations designed to ensure that an efficient justice administration system is entrenched in the FCT.
Malam Bello also pledged support for the High Court in its desire to make Abuja the Centre of Arbitration for local and international contracts. He said the move would be beneficial to the FCT considering the volume and importance of the transactions that occur in the nation’s capital.
Chief Press Secretary to the minister, Anthony Ogunleye said the FCT helmsman equally commended the FCT judiciary for the innovations brought to FCT court system and processes, especially the Alternative Dispute Resolution ADR mechanism which, he said, has helped in settling many land and property disputes which in the past had proven to be expensive and time-wasting at litigation.
Bello said; “The Alternative Dispute Resolution approach to resolving matters, which you have often advocated, has helped in settling many disputes in the FCT, especially land and property disagreements which have often proven to be costly and time-wasting had they gone to litigation.
“The innovations you have brought to the FCT court system and processes have encouraged many litigants to choose to have their cases heard in the FCT courts when such matters are sometimes outside your jurisdiction. This clearly demonstrates the level of confidence the general public has in our court processes here in the FCT”.
The Minister also used the occasion to assure residents and visitors of the FCT of the determination of the FCT Administration to keep the territory safe, free of criminalities, while stressing that random acts of criminality will not be allowed to define the FCT.
In his remarks, the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, Justice Ishaq Usman Bello, urged lawyers to cultivate the habit of providing pro bono (free) legal services to those who cannot afford to pay the fees. He said lawyers who engage in pro bono services will be rewarded as he had already introduced a merit award for lawyers who engage in such selfless services in the FCT.
The Chief Judge also assured all residents and visitors of the FCT that all case determinations will be according to merit and supported by law, adding that no political, social, economic and other consideration will influence the outcome of any case.