The Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Justice Ishaq Bello, said on Wednesday that merely filing an appeal would no longer stop the execution of judgments and orders made by judges and magistrates of the FCT courts.
Bello said this at his office in Abuja while signing the new Practice Direction for Enforcement of Judgments and Orders of Magistrates and Judges in the FCT.
The Chief Judge said with the new practice direction, for the execution of a judgment or an order of court to be stopped, there must be an express counter order from the Court of Appeal or from the same judge that delivered it.
He said court users who had won their cases would now be able to reap the fruit of the litigation more expeditiously.
He said the trend of filing appeals merely to stop the execution of judgments or orders of the court had come to an end.
He said, “Merely filing an appeal will no longer stop the execution of orders or judgments delivered by magistrates or judges.
“The only thing that will stop such an action is if there is an order stopping the execution either by the Court of Appeal or the court that made the order.
“Court users will be happy and it will make the system to be more trusted.”
Justice Bello also signed the new sentencing guidelines for judges and magistrates.
The Chief Judge said although sentencing was at the discretion of judges and magistrates, the new practice direction was not meant to tie their hands but just to give a guide.
At the event, which took place at his chamber, the CJ also received a number of books covering various aspects of corruption cases such as bribery and cybercrimes from the United Nation Office of Drugs and Crimes.
Among the books were copies of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 meant for the library of the FCT judiciary.
He thanked the UNODC through its representative, Mr. Polleak Serei, who promised that his organisation would continue to support the FCT judiciary.
The Chief Judge also inaugurated the new Witness Support Unit at the headquarters of the FCT High Court in Maitama, Abuja, which, according to him, would help to reduce the fears of persons coming to the court environment as a witness in a criminal case for the first time.