The magistrate and high courts are in a shabby state.
The deplorable states of courts in Nigeria have led some Lagos-based lawyers to ask the Lagos State Government to provide electronic gadgets in magistrates’ courts to facilitate court proceedings.
The lawyers say the state of the courts hampers the quick dispensation of justice. There are no micro – phones or electronic voice recorders in the courts, and this adversely affects the judges or magistrates delivery of justice.
It takes them longer to hear cases and in turn delaying justice.
A legal practitioner with Nwana & Co Solicitors, Vincent Nwana, decried the situation where judges or magistrates take down proceedings in long hand.
He said it affects the speed with which they legal practitioners work, delays proceedings and quick dispensation of justice.
“The magistrates’ court is often saddled with plethora of cases to handle, but these cases cannot be quickly dispensed with, if the magistrates record proceedings in long hand,” Mr Nwana said.
Another lawyer, Kola Afolayan of K. Afolayan Chambers, said that the magistrates’ court had been relegated because of they are lower courts.
Mr. Afolayan said that magistrates’ court should be upgraded.
“The number of litigants, plaintiffs, lawyers and prosecutors that come before magistrates’ court cannot be compared to some high courts,” Mr. Afolayan said.
“Sometimes these courts are full to the brim and you can barely hear from the magistrate. It is important that adequate public address systems and electronic recorders be supplied to assist them in day to day proceedings,” Mr. Afolayan said.
A lawyer with Makolo & Makolo Chambers, Anthony Makolo, said the public address systems in majority of the courts had stopped functioning.
He said poor sound system could aid lawyers misleading the court.
Beside the non functional public address system and the voice recorders in court rooms, they are shabby, and not properly ventilated. People are often fan themselves with hand fans or light books to breathe properly.
The chairs are often not enough to accommodate the people who come to participate in the court proceedings, the lawyers also complained.