Bar, Bench should collaborate to minimize delay in justice delivery, says Babatunde
THERE is no doubt that both the Bar and Bench will have to collaborate to enhance the justice delivery and minimize delay”. These are the word of a Lagos based lawyer, Mr Layi Babatunde while reviewing the judiciary in the last one year. He said that there are lots to do to aid effective justice delivery.
According to him, the judiciary like every other arm of Government, and as an integral aspect of our daily lives had it’s many challenges.
“From inadequate funding, to assault on it’s integrity from within and without, shutdown due to strike by judicial workers and most unfortunately, shut down of the Apex court for three days in order to host an Economic Forum in Abuja.
“Add to these, a hostile work environment where challenges range from lack of stationery to absence of power at home and at work. The Judge also does not work alone and where his supporting staffs are untrained and incompetent, the work of the judge is impacted negatively due to no fault of his”, he said.
Babatunde also declared that Nigerians attitude to justice delivery is suspect. His words: “The above instances are clear indications, that our attitude to justice delivery is still suspect. We are yet to accord the judiciary nay-judicial process her pride of place, while we continue to chase shadows. Evidently, money and status is still more important in our psyche, than the dignity of human condition and life itself.
“So the judiciary is not spared. Financial independence is the way to go, but I hope some otherwise responsible heads of courts will not in implementation (save with certain safe guards) fall victim of mischievous state Chief executives. After all, Man’s greatest disease especially to dominate to no end is of the mind than anything else”.
He noted that the judges are over-burdened, lamenting that the litigations that might follow the elections would add to the stress.
There is even a joke now, that some politicians or parties have judicial wings. God forbid. “When judgments go against them, they call a press conference to declare theirs and insult the judge. Unfortunately the various sanctions imposed by the National Judicial Council at diverse times, bears testimony to the fact that the judiciary itself habour saboteurs and misfits, who must be shown the way out soonest, before they render worthless the efforts of the several honest and industrious men and women on the bench”, he declared.
The publisher of the Supreme Court judgment therefore charged officers in the temple of justice to take serious the advice from the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed.
He said: “The Chief Justice of Nigeria recently admonished judges to respect judicial precedents and avoid conflicting decisions by the same court. This admonition should be taken seriously, as once respect for judicial precedent is lost, judicial rascality will become the order of the day. Besides, while courts below the Supreme Court for administrative convenience have several judicial divisions, they still remain in the eye of the law one court.”