Law News
Nigerian Judiciary overburdened, CJN cries out

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, yesterday, lamented that the judiciary has been greatly overburdened by political matters.

Speaking at a Public Dialogue on the Future of Justice Administration in Nigeria organised at the National Judicial Institute, NJI, yesterday by the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA,   the CJN, said the country was struggling “to provide an efficient, fair and effective justice system that would be able to ensure that everyone, regardless of station or status, can access quality justice that is administered quickly.

He said: “The current reality paints a sobering picture. The number of cases pending before the courts has reached critical proportions and we must use all appropriate means to stop it from spiralling out of control.

“If one considers the number of cases pending in high courts and other courts of record, you will agree with me that the situation is indeed disturbing and sobering.”

Currently, there are over six separate suits before the Federal High Court in Abuja, challenging the eligibility of the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, General Muhammadu Buhari, with most of the cases seeking similar reliefs.

The third in the series of such suits was lodged before the high court yesterday by Dr Ayakeme Whiskey who is seeking an order declaring Buhari ineligible to contest the February 14 election.

Whiskey anchored his suit on the same grounds of alleged failure of Buhari to accompany his Form CF001 submitted to INEC with his certificates of academic qualifications.

He contended that failure of Buhari to do so had rendered him ineligible to participate in the poll as he failed to comply with provisions of sections 131 and 318 of the 1999 Constitution and section 31(3) of the Electoral Act, 2010.

Meanwhile, welcoming participants at the event yesterday, the National President of the NBA, Mr. Augustine Alegeh, SAN, said that the dialogue was borne out of the neglect which the justice system had suffered over time.

“I strongly believe that the best way to promote rule of law, check impunity and abuse of human right is to overhaul the justice system by reforming archaic substantive and procedural criminal laws”, he added.

He said the NBA appreciated the fact that if there was going to be economic development in Nigeria, then, the justice system must be restructured and strengthened.

He stressed that an inefficient criminal justice system is a major disincentive to commerce and free flow of investment.

He said : “The absence, effective and timely remedies discourages investors from taking risk of investing their resources in an economy where such investments are urgently required, the justice system must be such that is primed to guarantee a secured and safe society where its citizens can exercise their fundamental rights, where investor do their business, where law enforcement agencies can carry out their lawful duties, and where post trial institutions (prison) can be said to be operating within the expectations of the society.”


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