Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Monday urged judges and magistrates to create innovative models tp achieve speedy and efficient justice delivery system in the state.
Ambode, who was represented by the Deputy governor, Dr Idiat Adebule, made the call at the opening of the 2018 Legal Year ceremony at the Lagos Central Mosque.
The governor urged the judicial officers to bring on board models which could be replicated more broadly across the country. He decried the problem of justice delay, which he said, was a challenge in the nation’s judicial system.
According to him, there is the need to vigorously ensure quick dispensation of justice, as the judiciary is the last hope of the common man.
”The plague of delay in justice delivery system is still of major concern in the nation’s judicial system today. The expectation of the citizenry is huge and requires all stakeholders to work continuously to enhance confidence in the legal system, promote the rule of law, guarantee protection of lives and properties of the citizens, ” he said.
Ambode said his administration recognised the place of the rule of law and order, which necessitated the introduction of reforms and policies to support the growth of the judiciary.
“Our administration will continue to support the judiciary to bring sanity to the system in the state. This is why we appointed more Judges and Magistrates because of the increased workloads and number of cases pending in courts. More court houses were constructed and existing ones renovated just to bring about efficiency in the administration of justice and promote the rule of law. The introduction of the Lagos State DNA and Forensic Centre is to further enhance the quality of Justice delivery in the state and we have also developed policies and legislations that will aid speedy dispensation of justice, ” he said.
In his lecture, Dr Ismail Musa, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies, UNILAG, said that the judiciary needed to device new ways of tackling the issues of backlog of cases, prison congestion and delay in handling cases.
According to him, these are the factors mitigating against fair and responsive system of justice in Nigeria.
”I’m appealing to the judiciary to hate injustice just as Allah hates injustice, by discharging their duties with the utmost sense of fairness and in consonance with Almighty Allah’s doctrine in justice, equity and fairness,” he said.
In his remarks, Alhaji Sikiru Alabi-Macfoy, Vice Chairman, Lagos Central Mosque Executive Council, expressed delight that it had become a tradition for the judiciary to come to the Mosque at the beginning of every legal year to seek the guidance of Allah in the discharge of their duties.
He urged the judiciary to ensure fairness in the dispensation of justice.