BY ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH, BARTHOLOMEW MADUKWE & MONSUR OLOWOOPEJO
LAGOS—Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, yesterday joined hundreds of lawyers and judges to proffer solution to delay in justice administration in Lagos State and Nigeria at large.
The governor in his keynote address, lamented the damage electricity failure in courts as well as consequences of actions of stakeholders had caused justice delivery system in Lagos State as well as the entire federation.
The state ministry of justice in collaboration with the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA put together the conference titled: “Delay in Justice Administration: Beyond the Rules and the Law,” together to find lasting solutions to perennial delay in justice delivery.
Fashola said: “The problems are not because that the systems are so bad. First, I ask if it is just that we like going to court. And when we submit cases to courts, are we gracious to be losers or winners? We have expanded the number of magistrates in Lagos to give relieve to the delay in justice administration.
“However, PHCN also adds to the delay in justice administration because sometimes when a judge is about to seat, the light goes off and the court adjourns. Our architectural design of Courts has not helped as well. Once the light goes off, the courtroom becomes dark. But I recall that in those days at magistrate court even when you do not get electricity, proceedings are not affected because there is natural light coming into the court due to the way it was built.”
The governor called on court registrars and government officials to work together in ensuring that they are responsive to the administration of justice, noting that if lawyers advise their clients adequately, not all issues get to the court.