The Chief Judge of the FCT, Hon. Justice Hussein Baba Yusuf has today, the 12th day of November 2021 signed the FCT District Courts Civil procedure rules.
The honorable Chief Judge in his speech described the event as epochal due to its significance to the administration of justice in our District Courts.
He further stated that the significance of the event is underscored by the fact that the District Court Act Cap. 495 LFN, ( Abuja) 1990 and the Rules made thereto before now applicable in the FCT we’re enacted by the Legislature of the then Northern Region of Nigeria and came into force on on the 30th September 1960.
Some notable provisions in the new rules are:
- Reviewed and simplified court forms
- provided for praecipe of evidence for front loading with exceptions for waiver for illiterate self represented litigants.
- provided for new mode for commencing action by originating application.
- made provisions for claims in a foreign currency
- made provisions for counter claim and set off.
- Made provisions for service of processes by electronic means.
- Identification and designation of Districts.
- mode of third-party proceedings.
- timelines for hearing cases and limit on number of adjournments permissible per party.
- Timeline for judgments and rulings.
- Nonsuiting and procedure thereof.
- Review of fees.
- Procedure for discontinuance
- Provision for award of interest
- Effect of non-compliance with rules
- Specific duty on Chief Registrar to open interest yielding accounts for interim or interlocutors orders upon stay of execution.
Hon Justice Yusuf further stated that the new rules offer an opportunity to improve our system and enhance speedy dispensation of justice. Thus, our courts stand to resolve disputes more quickly and less expensively.
The event was attended by members of the Bench notably Honorable Justice Anenih, Honorable Justice Agbara and Honorable Justice Kekemeke. Also in attendance were Magistrates of the FCT, the acting Chairman of NBA Abuja Branch, Chioma Onyenucheya-Uko, Chairman of NBA Bwari Branch, Monday Adjeh and members of both branches.