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Judge blames lawyers for delayed justice delivery


Justice Olasumbo Goodluck of the High Court in Abuja has blamed lawyers for prolonging cases in court through adjournments.The judge, who disclosed this yesterday at an event organised by Partners West Africa, said the lawyers do so by claiming to have matters in higher courts.He also presented its findings on the implementation of Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, by judges and lawyers.

The documents containing finings and recommendation of PWA was part of a three-year project with support from MacArthur Foundation to ensure transparency and accountability in the judicial sector.

Justice Goodluck, who described the situation in courts as one of the crises experienced by judges, called for a mechanism to track cases in various courts and the lawyers handling such cases.He said: “The crisis we are having is that most of the prosecutors, or counsel lie to the court that they are engaged in the Supreme Court”.

It has become a regular practice for counsels to seek adjournment of a case because he has a case in either Supreme Court or Court of Appeal. “And there is no way to crosscheck this information. I think that time has come to put mechanism into the justice delivery system in Nigeria.”

The judge canvassed the introduction of a technology that would provide data of cases pending in courts and the counsels representing such cases.He charged counsels to delegate cases to their team members, rather than relying only on the team leader to argue cases in courts.

“What is the essence of having a team of three counsels who are in the case from inception, and because the lead counsel is engaged somewhere, the team would demand an adjournment.“Any member of the team should be able to take charge at any point in time whenever the principal counsel is not on ground,” he said.

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Olasumbo Goodluck
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