The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, has pledged to address poor infrastructural facilities, currently militating against the smooth flow of judicial proceedings in lower courts across the country.
Mr. Onnoghen made this known at a national workshop for judges, in Abuja with the theme: “Enhancing Administration of Justice in the Area, Sharia/Customary Courts”.
The CJN, who was represented by a Justice of the Supreme Court, Olu Ariwoola, also advised judicial officers in the lower courts to not allow themselves to be deterred by the current facility situation in the respective courts.
“We cannot behave like the proverbial ostrich and hide away from the fact that there are major issues plaguing the lower courts,” he said.
“I am aware that these courts have poor infrastructure and can be very uncomfortable to sit in for long period of time.
“Bathroom facilities are non-existent, stationary and basic office equipment are also not available and welfare is generally considered inadequate.
“You are usually the first point of contact the public has with courts. This negative perceptions can only be redressed when we act according to the dictates of the law, ethics and our conscience,” he said.
Mr. Onnoghen noted the indispensable role of the lower courts towards ensuring the adequate and efficient dispensation of justice in a democratic setting and urged the staff to remain dedicated to their duties.
He reiterated the commitment of the NJC towards ensuring that new polices and laws are put in place to bridge current challenges experienced in the course of justice.
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