The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has eulogised the outgoing President of the FCT Customary Court of Appeal, Honourable Justice Moses Bello, for the able way he piloted the affairs of the apex customary court during his 26 years on the saddle.
The FCT Minister gave this remark in a tribute to the Justice during the valedictory session held in his honour today, Thursday, January 4, 2018.
The FCT Minister who was represented at the occasion by the FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr. Chinyeaka Ohaa, stated, “…in the 26 years of your presidency of this court you left indelible footprints in the judicial sands of time. Like a guiding light, all customary law practitioners would ever look at your wise judicial pronouncements as beacons as they navigate the waters of customary law and jurisprudence.”
The FCT Customary Court of Appeal, the Minister noted, was established as a Superior Court of Record pursuant to Decree No. 30 of 1991 and enshrined in Section 265, Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended. According to Malam Bello, the Court was charged with the mandate to exercise appellate and supervisory jurisdiction over issues of Customary law and Chieftaincy matters. The Minister consequently commended the Court for discharging these functions creditably.
He thanked the retiring Justice for his contributions towards making the FCT Administration’s legal institution what it is today while recalling that the Justice Bello, at a time, was a staff of the FCT Administration 1981 - 85. During this period, the Minister recalled, Justice Bello, then as a legal officer also acted as Head of Department of Legal Services between 1984 and 1985.
Malam Bello pledge to extend the same hand of fellowship and good working relations that existed between FCTA and the outgoing president to the next leadership of the Court.
In his remarks, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Malam Abubakar Malami described the celebrant as a man who has impacted the country in a profound manner. He therefore, called on lawyers, judges and justices to use the occasion to reflect on the life and wide range of experience of the retiring justice to the country’s jurisprudence.
He said: “This is a worthy celebrant. The celebrant has touched the country in a profound manner. His biography is that of hardwork, team work and dedication.
While responding, the retiring Justice of the Customary Court of Appeal, Justice, Moses A. Bello Justice Bello disclosed that one of his greatest achievements was the passage into law by the National Assembly of the Customary Court of Appeal of the FCT, jurisdiction on Chieftaincy matters which gave the FCT Customary Court of Appeal sole jurisdiction to hear and determine chieftaincy matters in the Territory.
Justice Bello explained that during his tenure as the helmsman of the Customary Court of Appeal, he contributed his best to the growth and development of the Court and also ensured that people at the grassroots in the FCT get required services.
His words: “In the years I have served as President of the Customary Court of Appeal, I make bold to say I contributed my modest efforts towards the growth and development of the Court and ultimately in bringing the services of the Court closer to those who needed it the most, the rural dwellers of the FCT.”
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
TO FCT MINISTER