By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA—Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, yesterday, identified delay in the administration of justice as a major challenge facing the Nigerian judiciary.
The CJN said the only way the country could overcome the challenge was for judges to embrace global best practices directed towards speedy dispensation of justice, such as the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution, ADR, and other case management techniques in handling legal disputes.
Justice Onnoghen stated this at the opening ceremony of the 2017 orientation course for newly appointed magistrates at National Judicial Institute, NJI, in Abuja.
He said: “The Nigerian judiciary has been faced with a lot of challenges, prominent among them is the delay in the administration of justice, which has been in the front burner of several discourse.
“To overcome some of these challenges responsible for the delay in the administration of justice, it behoves on each and every one of us to be disciplined, focused and innovative in the performance of our duties as ministers in the Temple of Justice.
“You must embrace global best practices directed towards speedy dispensation of justice, such as the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution, ADR, and other case management techniques in handling cases in your courts.
“You must shun corruption and lead by example. You must adhere strictly to judicial ethics and Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers which is applicable to Magistrates.’’
The CJN, whose keynote address was read by Justice Akaahs Bayang of the Supreme Court, said the orientation course for newly appointed magistrates was very necessary in view of enormous and pivotal roles magistrates play in the administration of justice.
In her welcome address, Administrator of the NJI, Justice R. P. I. Bozimo, said the theme of this year’s course, “Promoting Judicial Excellence in the Administration of Justice,” was most appropriate and in time with the current drive by the judiciary in attaining excellence in the discharge of its statutory responsibilities through innovative approach in the administration of justice.
“Let us all appreciate the fact that an effective administration of justice is a coner-stone of good governance, which in turn is a requisite for development.
“We must imbibe best practices that ensure smarter and better ways of dispensing justice.