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Buhari canvasses special courts for speedy justice

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President Muhhamadu Buhari (middle) and others during the 2019 All Nigeria Judges’ Conference of Superior Courts organised by the National Judicial Institute (NJI) in Abuja…yesterday. Photo: LUCY LADIDI ATEKO


President Muhammadu Buhari has called on judicial officers to facilitate the creation of special courts for speedy dispensation of justice in the country. Opening 2019 All Nigeria Judges’ Conference of Superior Courts yesterday in Abuja, the president advised the gathering to consider creating an efficient structure for the proposed special crimes courts or designation of existing courts as special courts with competent and credible judicial officers to eliminate administrative bottlenecks in the judicial process.

Buhari said he was not unaware of the challenges facing the judiciary, on which he had had discussions with the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad. His words: “The government has been committed to a number of justice sector reforms such as review of extant laws and enactment of new laws that will improve the lives of Nigerians.

“Additionally, we have worked closely with the CJN to ensure that judicial budgetary allocations are enhanced in view of the needs of the judiciary. I have strongly supported the increase in number of judges at the high courts, appeal courts and the Supreme Court in order to reduce the burden of work placed on judicial officers. I will continue to do so.”

The Nigerian leader said his administration was committed to the economic revival of the nation, especially by attracting foreign investments as well as fighting corruption and insecurity. He, therefore, solicited the support of the judiciary in this regard. He added: “Economic progress can only be sustained in an atmosphere of the rule of law where justice is guaranteed.

“I therefore express hope that this conference will achieve its objective of articulating interventions by which this administration’s drive to improve transparency, security and the expeditious adjudication of commercial, corruption related crimes, including economic and financial crimes matters, could be enhanced.”

With the theme, “Sustaining Democracy Through Effective and Efficient Administration of Justice, the CJN noted that delay in justice delivery and the volume of cases in the dockets of courts leave so much to be desired. He hoped that the ‘Nigerian Case Management System’, already in place, would be of great help.

“Furthermore, in a bid to enhance justice administration and provide citizens with the justice system they deserve, the manual forms of communication within Nigerian courts will soon be phased out”, Justice Muhammad pledged. He also sought the understanding of his colleagues in amending the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee Rules to reduce the quorum of the committee from five to three members.

In her remarks, the Administrator, National Judicial Institute (NJI), Justice Roseline Bozimo, noted that this year’s theme was topical, as judicial integrity and rule of law were the underlying principles of justice. According to her, speedy resolution of disputes, particularly financial or commercial disputes remains an economic development catalyst as investors and other financial institutions eye better returns on investments.


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