Stakeholders in Nigeria’s justice sector will on January 25, 2022, gather in Abuja to deliberate on ways to address the most pressing challenges confronting the Nigerian justice sector.
Nigeria needs an effective, fair, humane, accessible and accountable justice sector, which is indispensable for upholding the rule of law and is a critical building block for the socio-economic and political development of the nation.
It is for this reason that the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, the Justice Research Institute, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC, and the Justice Reform Project have come together to organise this summit aimed towards achieving a justice sector that enjoys the trust and confidence of citizens and businesses.
The NBA, in a concept note for the summit, said before now different stakeholders in the justice sector, including the Justice Research Institute, the NBA, the National Judicial Council, NJC, UNODC, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the Justice Reform Project were all planning various initiatives to address perceived challenges in the Nigerian justice sector. The summit is, therefore, an effort to harmonise these various initiatives.
For instance, the Justice Research Institute planned to conduct a follow-on webinar in 2021 on the judicial appointments process to assess the output from its first webinar and take stock of any advancement that may have taken place as a result. At the same time, the UNODC and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation had commissioned a study on the judicial selections and appointments process, with plans to host an event to publish the results and recommendations of the study.
“Consequently, it was resolved that rather than having separate initiatives and events with the potential for dissipation of efforts and impact, these organisations would come together to host a one-day Justice Sector Summit aimed at addressing the most pressing challenges confronting the Nigerian justice sector,” the NBA said.
The summit, with the theme “Devising Practical Solutions Towards Improved Performance, Enhanced Accountability and Independence in the Justice Sector,” will take a hybrid format, with participants attending both physically and virtually.
It will have Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, and Chief Justice of Nigeria Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad as special guests.Others expected as special guests are Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker, House of Representatives, and Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, while Hon. Justice Peter Affen, Justice of the Court of Appeal, will deliver the keynote address.
The Attorney General of the Federation, the Chief Justice, the Senate President and the NBA President, Olumide Akpata, will hold a session on “Devising Practical Solutions Towards Improved Performance, Enhanced Accountability and Independence in the Justice Sector”, to be moderated by Dr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), a former president of the NBA.
There will also be three technical sessions on the topics “Judicial Appointments/Selection: Current Practices & Challenges”, “Rethinking Judicial Administration: Budgeting; Funding; and Accountability”, and “Accelerating the Speed of Justice Delivery: Accountability & Performance”.
Panellists at the technical sessions include Gilbert Tor, Director Research, NJI, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo (SAN), Attorney-General & Commissioner for Justice, Oyo State, Justice Amina Augie, Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice B. B. Kanyip, President, National Industrial Court, Mr. Ben Akabueze, Director, Budget Office of the Federation, Mrs. Funke Adekoya (SAN), among others.