Why public confidence in Judiciary is low, by Saraki, CJN, others
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN) and Solicitor General of the Federation (SGF), Taiwo Abidogun, on Thursday lamented the inability of the nation’s court system to ensure prompt justice delivery.
They urged that efforts should be directed at ensuring that the judicial system functions for the benefit of all.
Saraki, Onnoghen, Malami and Abidogun spoke at the National Summit on Justice in Abuja.
Saraki, who was represented by Senator David Umoru, said Nigerians were in agreement that the justice administration system urgently requires serious reforms to enable it cope with current day challenges.
He said: “Criminals have become smarter with technology. There is an upsurge in terrorism and crimes, hitherto unimagined like the senseless and brutal kidnapping of Nigerians. This was a crime never envisaged in the past.
“It is my clear belief that in order to restore confidence amongst Nigerians in our justice system, judicial reforms need to be institutionalised. It must be constantly reviewed to reflect the constant dynamics of the society.
“It should not be treated like a one off project or a talk show, but a workable template must be adhered to.
“The success of an effective judicial system is measured not only by the number of cases that it manages to dispose of, but also, and more importantly, by the amount of litigation which is avoided because the rights and obligations of parties are ascertainable in advance.
“Ensuring effective access to justice is one of the most important issues facing our justice system today.”
Onnoghen, who was also represented by Justice Mary Odili of the Supreme Court, said the perennial delay in the judicial process could be effectively eliminated where rules of procedure in courts are well streamlined.
He noted that although it may be difficult to achieve uniformity of court procedure nationwide because of existing differences in religion, culture and legal procedures, efforts should be directed at ensuring a system that guarantees fair play and equity.
He said: “The common man should see the justice system as impartial. There should be improved justice dispensation, elimination of delays and reduction in cost of litigation.
“It is hoped that the policy will achieve this goal of building consensus among justice sector institutions and practitioners for the purpose of addressing collectively, the major challenges facing the justice delivery system in the country.”
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