Nigeria’s Chief Justice blames slow administration of justice on poor infrastructure

The CJN says to be effective, courts need the requisite infrastructure, expertise and technology.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Mariam Mukhtar, has traced the problem of slow administration of justice in Nigeria to the poor institutional and infrastructural facilities associated with the nation’s justice system.

Mrs. Mukhtar, who spoke at the official commissioning of the permanent site of the Appeal Court, Ibadan Division on Monday, said Nigerian courts, like many others in developing countries of the world, struggle to cope with situations like absence of standard libraries and out-dated legal infrastructure.

“In this age of advancement in science and technology, I see no reason why there should be no simultaneous improvement in our court facilities. The need for court rooms to be well equipped cannot be over-emphasised. This is a necessary tool for the judiciary to enable it perform its expected constitutional role with all sense of adequacy,” she said.

Nigeria’s chief judicial officer said for courts to discharge their role of dispute settlement and interpretation of law effectively, they must not be denied of requisite infrastructure, expertise and technology.

Recalling the situation at the old Ibadan Appeal Court building, the CJN said, “Incidentally, the building was also the residence of the Premier of the old Western region. I am glad at this transformation from antiquity to this ultra-modern complex.”

Also speaking at the occasion, the acting president of the Court of Appeal, Zainab Bulkachuwa, appreciated the administration of the former governor of Oyo State, Rasheed Ladoja, for allocating the land to the court.

“The Oyo State government gave us the land on which this lovely edifice is standing in 2007 and in 2008; and funds were released by the Federal government. We pray that those who have cases would leave the court with justice and this should gladden the hearts of Nigerians,” she said.

The Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, pledged his continued support to the judiciary to guarantee peace, security and justice in the state.

“To us, the judiciary is gone past the last hope of the common man. It is, even now, the hope of the rich and mighty and in general that of the entire human race,” he said.


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  • Justin

    It will also help the Nigerian Judiciary to apply it’s own rules. The procedure for discovery and inspection of documents prior to trials would save some of those famous objections lawyers are most reknowned for. That alone is responsible for close to 40% of trial delays. Why can’t our Judges set trials and hear them on day to day until disposed? Most Nigerian Judges attend too many conferences during trial periods (leading to further adjournments). Why can’t Judges rule on Interlocutory applications in Chambers without the need for formal appearances (after all, the Briefs of Arguments are attached to the Motions). The truth is the Rules of Court have become less formal…the Judges have not. I must however commend the Supreme Court. They seem to be the most progressive of the judicial cadre. They actually dtermine applications in Chambers and call you to come and collect your rulings. A Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory did that once…in 2007. I’ve not heard anything new in this regard of recent.

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