The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Mariam Mukhtar, has traced the problem of slow administration of justice in Nigeria to the poor institutional and infrastructural facilities associated with the nation’s justice system.
Mrs. Mukhtar, who spoke at the official commissioning of the permanent site of the Appeal Court, Ibadan Division on Monday, said Nigerian courts, like many others in developing countries of the world, struggle to cope with situations like absence of standard libraries and out-dated legal infrastructure.
“In this age of advancement in science and technology, I see no reason why there should be no simultaneous improvement in our court facilities. The need for court rooms to be well equipped cannot be over-emphasised. This is a necessary tool for the judiciary to enable it perform its expected constitutional role with all sense of adequacy,” she said.
Nigeria’s chief judicial officer said for courts to discharge their role of dispute settlement and interpretation of law effectively, they must not be denied of requisite infrastructure, expertise and technology.
Recalling the situation at the old Ibadan Appeal Court building, the CJN said, “Incidentally, the building was also the residence of the Premier of the old Western region. I am glad at this transformation from antiquity to this ultra-modern complex.”
Also speaking at the occasion, the acting president of the Court of Appeal, Zainab Bulkachuwa, appreciated the administration of the former governor of Oyo State, Rasheed Ladoja, for allocating the land to the court.
“The Oyo State government gave us the land on which this lovely edifice is standing in 2007 and in 2008; and funds were released by the Federal government. We pray that those who have cases would leave the court with justice and this should gladden the hearts of Nigerians,” she said.
The Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, pledged his continued support to the judiciary to guarantee peace, security and justice in the state.
“To us, the judiciary is gone past the last hope of the common man. It is, even now, the hope of the rich and mighty and in general that of the entire human race,” he said.