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Cross River Judiciary Unveils Small Claim Courts For Debt Recovery

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20 Magistrates have been trained by the Cross River State Judiciary in collaboration with the secretariat of Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) to fast-track dispensation of justice to litigants seeking to recover debts in business transactions.

Chief Judge of Cross River State, Justice Akon Ikpeme, disclosed this on Tuesday in Calabar while answering questions from journalists shortly after the flag-off of the two-day training.

CJ Ikpeme, who spoke after a rigorous seven-hour of training, stated that residents of the state being owed debts in business transactions by thier business associates have no reason to visit higher courts nor hire the services of a lawyer to make recoveries of their money any longer but visit Small Claim Courts to file their complaints.

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When asked to explain the reasons behind the Small Claim Courts, the CJ said: “Nigeria is evolving and you know we are really in a business interactive era.

“The aim of the small claims court is that, it's like the regular courts you are slowed down by technicalities.

“The small claims court is about money liquidation. Somebody is owing N5m, I have the papers to show if we sign agreement.

“In such a case, you don't even need a lawyer provided you have genuine papers. Judgement will be dispensed within 60 days.”

She said that hearing and judgement will be fast-tracked in a manner that the bottlenecks of undue delay would be removed in the administration of justice.

“Cases that lasted 10, 15 years before, are to be dispensed within 60 days, particularly cases involving money liquidation.

“Justice has been brought closer to the doorsteps of the people as they do not need to go to the regular courts for small claims,” the CJ explained.

Chairman, Small Claims Court Committee, Justice Elias Abua, who spoke in company of two other Judges – Justice Victor Offiong and Justice Angela Obi – advised members of the public wishing to make recovery of their money to visit Magistrate Court Complex, Moore Road, Calabar to file their complaints.


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