Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public Interest and Development Law NBA -SPIDEL, Dr. Monday Onyekachi Ubani has called for a speedy justice dispensation even as the nation’s judiciary gets set for a new legal year.
Ubani made the call in an exclusive interview with TRIPLENET BULLETIN while speaking on the state of the nation’s legal system and what ought to be done differently to promote efficiency in the justice sector.
He noted that the judiciary plays a very pivotal role in the legal profession especially in the realm of legal rights and liabilities as it dispenses justice in deserving cases as an unbiased umpire, viewing the issues from a “blind” person’s point of view to arrive at “clean justice”
Ubani, however noted that the moment a nation’s judiciary departs from this sacred mandate and rather begins to tilt towards sentiments or favouritism, then there becomes a huge problem for the country. He therefore, noted that the new legal year 2022/2023 must be characterized by an improved justice sector .
“As we look forward to the opening of the new legal year, we look forward to a judiciary that is clearly focused on the dispensation of justice and they must do this in a manner that is also quick because what we have had as a problem in this country is a delay in the administration of justice, following which many have began to loose confidence in the judiciary
“If we have in place a functional judiciary living up to the expectations of stakeholders, then we can be correspondingly sure that lawyers will do well; This is because, a situation where a lawyer takes a brief and charges his fees and later, that case takes up to five or six years in court, the truth is that as a lawyer, you may have exhausted the fees yet, everyone sees you going to court.
“Truth be told, this is the reason you find that some lawyers are unable to afford conference fees or fees for lodgement in a hotel and are living below average in society” he said
Besides, Ubani noted that an efficient judiciary can also be a driver of foreign investment in the country, as no one would wish to make an investment in a nation with an ailing justice system. In this light, he also urged on the need for appointment of more qualified judges to pilot the “wheels of justice”, adding that these appointment of judges should be devoid of politics, as there are many legal practitioners who are bright minds from which quality judges can be drawn
Moreso, Ubani bemoaned the slow pace of proceedings at the appellate courts noting that it makes no sense at all if after filing an appeal at the appellate courts, it still takes several years to get your appeal heard.
He expressed reservations on the disposition of some judges towards matters before them, as same could be discouraging to lawyers and litigants