Abia launches Customary Court of Appeal Law Reports
The Abia State has formally launched her Customary Court of Appeal Law Reports published in two volumes for 2007 and 2011 with collection of fifty (50) cases.
Speaking at the ceremony held at the state Customary Court of Appeal premises in Umuahia, the State Chief Judge, Justice Theresa Uzokwe, described the advent of the law report as timely and most desirable.
According to her, the Customary Court has demonstrated in Abia State Customary Court of Appeal that they can give and have indeed given recognition to our customs and have given them the status of law.
“By my judgment, the customary court of Appeal , Abia State has made history. And it is a great and historic heart-warming event when we consider the challenges of uncertainty, which our customary laws and rules have experienced over the years including the controversial definitions of our customary laws, where some schools have come up with the position that our customary laws do not qualify as laws,” she stated.
The CJ also said that these two major challenges have now found an answer in the law reporting exercise of the customary court of appeal, adding that the eradication of these challenges emphasizes why the establishment of law reporting of the decisions of the customary court
of appeal is of momentous jurisprudential significance.
In his remarks, the President of the State Customary Court of Appeal Justice Anyalewechi Onwuchekwa recalled that the state court metamorphosed from the old Imo State in 1991 with the creation of Abia and that thereafter, it battled with teething problems, which ranged
from accommodation to manpower development and funds flow.
According to him, since his advent in 2010 as the president of the court, which presently has Mr. Benson Anya as the Chief Registrar, the court assumed its rightful status and position such that through the provision of befitting court halls.
“The Customary Court of Appeal, which inherited a backlog of 414 pending appeal cases, motion ex-parte and transfer matters in 2010, can without fear of contradiction,
say it has done very well by drastically reducing that number to 31,”he stated.
Chairman of the Law Report Committee, Justice Okechukwu Nwamoh, said it took them time to accomplish the two volumes, adding that more volumes will follow later.
Chief Okey Amechi (SAN), presented the copies and supported by Chief Awa Kalu (SAN).
The ceremony also had in attendance Presidents of Customary Courts of Appeal from Anambra, Imo, Ebonyi, Enugu, and representative of the Abuja branch including eminent Judges, lawyers, politicians among others.