ABEOKUTA – The President, Ogun State Customary Court of Appeal (CCA), Hon. Justice Mobolaji Ojo has hinted that the amended 2022 Customary Court Law of the State was to expand the scope of operations of Customary Court Judges, bars, benches and the public.
Justice Ojo made this known while unveiling/presenting the selected judgements of Ogun State Customary Court of Appeal Law report and the newly amended Customary Court of Appeal Rule 2022 to the Bar and Public, held at the Conference Hall of the Court, Isabo, Abeokuta, the state capital.
He said that the Ogun State Customary Court of Appeal exercises appellate and supervisory jurisdiction over Customary Courts in cases involving land held under Customary Law, noting that Customary marriage, inheritance under native law upon intestacy, guardianship and custody of children was also among.
His words, “Indeed, the issue of the extent of the appellate jurisdiction of a Customary Court of Appeal has generated huge interest from lawyers, jurists, as well as academic writers, but the Supreme Court on its part has made profound pronouncements on the subject.”
Justice Ojo said that at the inception of the Court, Customary Court of Appeal relied on the High Court Rules to guide and direct the proceedings of the Court, noting that on September 14, 2020, a new Customary Court of Appeal Rules was launched and presented to the Bar and Public.
He added that it becomes necessary to effect some amendments and introduce new provisions in order to fill the lacunae in the old Rules, noting that the new innovations and improvements have now been Incorporated into the new 2022 rules.
“In fact, one of these innovations is the provision relating to the original jurisdiction of Customary Court of Appeal, which is contained in Order 7 of the new Rules, and additional Forms 10, 11, 12 and 13 as contained in the First Schedule of the 2022 Rules have also been introduced.
“Also, Order 4 Rule 2 (a) (b) and (d) of the 2020 Rules provided for Forms 13, 14 and 15 but those Forms were missing in the old Rules, and under the 2022 Rules, precipe Forms for service out of Nigeria and service of Foreign processes are now provided for in Order 4 Rule 2 (a) (b) and (d) under 2022 Rules”, Justice Ojo said.
He also hinted that Customary Courts in Ilaro, Idowa, Iperu, Saapade, and Sagamu had witnessed physical structures, massive facelift and well equipped with the state of the art facilities, noting that it was aimed to bring conducive environment for the people, as well as to prompt service delivery in the dispensation of justice at the grassroots level.
The CCA President later hailed the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun for his support for the Customary Court of Appeal since its establishment, equally appreciated the Chief Judge of the State, Hon. Justice Mosunmola Arinola Dipeolu for Her Lordship’s support at all times.
In her goodwill messages, the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Mosunmola Arinola Dipeolu, said that the selected judgements and report would provide a compendium through which stakeholders and litigants would have access to the decision of the Customary Court of Appeal in the State.
Justice Dipeolu noted that presently only six judges were at the State’s Customary Court of Appeal, noting that with the ongoing appointment of new judges in the State, more judges would introduced into the court for quick dispensation of justice.