CJN seeks reforms to ensure swift, affordable justice delivery

By Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, has expressed concern about delay in the nation’s justice delivery system and the growing unaffordability of court services to litigants.

Justice Muhammad noted that the Constitution, having saddled the Judiciary with the task of justice administration, has made it imperative that citizens get easy access to courts to enable them ventilate their grievances and have their cases adjudicated upon.

“The delay in our justice delivery system has been a source of great concern to me, as it must be to you all.

“This unacceptable situation inevitably dictates the need for a thorough and comprehensive reform of our Justice sector to ensure access to justice at affordable costs and within a reasonable time,” he said.

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Justice Muhammad spoke on Monday in Abuja at the virtual opening ceremony of the 2020 all Nigeria Judges’ Conference of lower courts, at the National Judicial Institute (NJI).

NJI’s Administrator, Justice Rosaline Bozimo (retd.), said the biennial event had always been a stock-taking exercise for judges of the lower courts nationwide.

“It also provides a platform to strategise on the means of adopting global best practices to meet critical challenges in the dispensation of justice to all in Nigeria,” she said.

Justice Bozimo added: “It cannot be over-emphasised that the need for a forum, such as this, is necessary to propel you to perform optimally. As we are all aware, justice is the foundation of the rule of law. The Judiciary, as the third arm of government, has a very important role to play in the enthronement of the rule of law; even to the people at the grassroots.”