The birth of the Department of Civil Appeals was necessitated by the paramount need to improve proficiency and industry in the area of the institution and defence of Appeals on behalf and against the Federal Government and its agencies respectively.

Particularly as it relates to the institution of Appeals, it had become quite rife for Federal Government agencies to continue to rest on their oars whenever cases are concluded and decided against them, in spite of the large judgment sums awarded in the suits. Let alone the fact that the judgment sums also continue to accumulate in tripling interests in the absence of any appeal filed against such judgments.

This no doubt, has over the years constituted harsh circumstances of unnecessary financial encumbrance on the economy of the nation, and it was in fact a situation that had to be abated as practicable as possible.

  The Activities of Civil Appeal:

  • The practical operation of the department was informed by the need to meet the challenges of ever-growing large volume of litigation at the trial and appellate court against the Federal Government internationally and domestically. Importantly, the need to promote appeal culture in the ministry particularly amongst State Counsel with the aim of reducing the growing numbers of Judgment debts, overturning unfavorable decisions by Trial Courts.
  • Civil Appeals Department was created is to reduce consistent in increase in workloads in all clases of litigations (excluding criminal litigation), out of court engagements such as treating requests for legal advice, mediation and arbitration engagements, HAGF’s consent for enforcement or engagement of external solicitors by MDA’s, judgment debt profiling and servicing,  advice on solicitors fees etc.
  • Consequent upon the above, the Department of Civil Appeals is saddled with the following duties and responsibilities:
  1. Handling or coordinating the defence or prosecution of all appeals before the various divisions of the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Nigeria either through the Headquarter or Zonal Offices.
  2. The department also handles or coordinates all appeals against the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, HAGF, FGN, MDA’s before international and domestic jurisdiction.
  3. Initiating or defending all cases in original jurisdiction before Appellate Courts.
  4. The study and issuing of advice on all judgments against the President Federal Republic of Nigeria, HAGF, FGN, MDA’s etc. for possible appeals in line with the overriding interest of the Federal Government and Nigeria at large.
  5. Collaborating with MDA’s and Civil Litigation Department in the prosecution of civil cases at trial courts for necessary interlocutory appeals while ultimately considering the interest of the Federal Government and Nigeria at large.  
  6. Handling garnishee and other post-judgement applications and enforcement proceedings.
  7. Collaborating with the Department of Civil Litigation to ensure a seamless synergy in the prosecution of civil cases from the trial stage to the appeal stage.
  8. The handling of all cases irrespective of the Court as may be directed by the HAGF or SGF/PS in view of the nature and subject matter involved. 
  9. Consequent upon paragraph 6 of Circular No: SGF/PS/CIR/76/II dated 29th June initiating the practical operation of Civil Appeals Department, the department is currently handling cases at the trial courts, various division of the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and ECOWAS Court which as of date is over a 2000 cases.
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