A total of 36,712 cases are pending in various courts in Rivers, the Chief judge, Justice Simeon Amadi, said on Thursday in Port Harcourt.

Amadi said at a special court session to mark the beginning of the 2023/2024 Legal Year in the state that most of the cases had been in court since the preceding Legal Year.

He said High Courts in the state carried over 11,074 cases from the 2022/2023 Legal Year when it disposed of 5,041.

He added that Magistrates Courts carried 14,943 cases into the new Legal Year, while the Customary Court of Appeal brought forward 88 cases into the new Legal Year.

He said the Judiciary in the state generated N645 million in the previous year.

Justice Amadi said he received 50 petitions from lawyers and litigants seeking the transfer of their cases already assigned to magistrates and judges, noting that frivolous petitions hampered the smooth dispensation of justice.

He said the judiciary in the state needed at least 300 employees to address the manpower deficiency currently affecting it.

In his remarks, Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Zaccheaus Adangor, decried unprofessional conduct of legal practitioners who sought to tarnish the integrity of judges when they lose cases.

Similarly, former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Onueze Okocha (SAN) commended the judiciary in Rivers for the various feats achieved in the past.

Earlier, Chairman of Port Harcourt chapter of the NBA, Mr. Victor Benebo, urged judicial officers to discharge their duties without fear or favour.

Benebo also called for improved welfare for magistrates in the state to enable them to perform well. (NAN)