Following appeals from persons of goodwill, the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) may soon reopen the Owerri Division of the court.
The President of the Court, Justice Benedict Kanyip gave the hint on Wednesday when he officially declared the 2022/2023 Legal Year open in Abuja.
Kanyip regretted the closure of the Owerri Division of the Court, saying it was informed by the absence of the safety of the resident judge, Justice I. S. Galadima and members of staff of the court.
According to him, the court had to do the needful when the safety of the resident judge and staff could no longer be guaranteed.
Justice Kanyip maintained that the appeals from the persons of goodwill in the state including local and Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) are on the table for serious consideration once the court gets the security guarantees and other agreed parameters for reopening.
He opined that the future of the court looks very bright, adding the Court shall continue to strive to attain excellence by improving on the justice delivery mechanisms within the limits of the law.
In his remark, the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami commended the contribution of the Court to the resolution of trade disputes and industrial relation matters in the country.
According to Malami, the court has helped in rekindle foreign investor’s confidence in the stability of the industrial relations in Nigeria.
He urged the Justices of the Court to continue to maintain judicial sanctity and credibility and to remain unshaken at all times in order to foster and promote public confidence in all judgments and rulings that emanate from the court.
Similarly, the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Yakubu Maikyau SAN confessed that the National Industrial Court remains a model court in many respects with regards to the approach of the Court to its constitutional responsibilities and the professionalism shown by its staff in matters of case management, correspondence with counsel and litigants and the discipline brought to bear in the aesthetics and general outlook of the Court across various divisions.
He commended their Lordships and the staff of the Court for the display of judicial courage, awareness and investment in corporate communications and relations which continue to distinguish the Court from others.
Also speaking, the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria represented by Asiwaju Awomolo SAN said the recent timely interventions of the court in industrial disputes have justified the wisdom in creating the court as a specialized court.
He pointed out that the court has continued to live up to its expectation through the timely dispensation of cases.
The eminent jurists who graced the event included Judge of the Court of Appeal, Justice Kenneth Amadi, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, The Grand Khadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal, the Judges of the Federal High Court and Federal Capital Territory.
Others were the President of the Industrial Court, Trinidad and Tobago, Her Honour, Deborah Thomas-Felix, former President of the Industrial Court, Hon. Justice Babatunde Adejumo OFR (Retired) to mention a few.