Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State on Tuesday decried what he called slow pace of adjudication in spite of several reforms in the nation’s judiciary.
Mr. Fashola spoke at a valedictory court session held in honour of the immediate past State Chief Judge, Justice Ayotunde Phillips.
The programme was part of activities organised by the Lagos State Judiciary to mark the 2014/2015 legal year.
Represented by the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye, Mr. Fashola said a lot was being done to eliminate delays in the justice delivery system.
“Despite several reforms in the rules of civil and criminal procedures and the introduction of judicial assistants and verbatim court reporters, the pace of adjudication has remained unsatisfactory for most court users.
“Nigeria is still ranked 136 out of the 168 countries surveyed in the aspect of enforcing contracts.
“According to the survey, resolution of contractual disputes could take an average of 447 days and gulp up to 92 per cent of the contract value in terms of attendant costs,” he said.
The governor noted that the problem was not only an anathema to the course of justice, but also amounted to a violation of the constitutional guarantee right of fair hearing within a reasonable time.
“Therefore, the bench, the bar, the government, the academia and other stakeholders must take immediate steps to ensure that the Nigerian justice system is able to meet the real expectations of the people.”