Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad has called on heads of courts to put in place efficient structures that will bring about speedy and fair administration of justice.
Justice Muhammad made the call in Abuja while declaring open the 2019 roundtable for heads of courts held at the National Judicial Institute (NJI).
He explained that it was to this end that the National Judicial Policy was formulated by the NJC in 2016.
“The policy reiterates that strategies shall be put in place to achieve the goals of judicial administration vis-à-vis the inherent power in the courts under Section 6(6) of the 1999 constitution.
“The policy directs heads of each judiciary to establish an efficient court- management structure that will provide tools and support services in order to ensure high performance, productivity, speedy and fair administration of justice which will not influence on the independence of the judiciary.”
Justice Muhammad submitted that judicial independence encompasses not only control and authority over the legal decisions devoid of external influences, but also an array of administrative powers of courts and Judicial institutions.
“This includes authority over budgeting, information technology, human resources, allocation of judicial services, supply chain management, judicial selection, retentions, assignment as well as the education and training of judges and their support staff.”
The acting CJN admonished participants at the workshop to display tremendous sensitivity, wisdom, and decency in considering the impact of administrative decisions.
“There should be a tireless commitment to improving the quality of justice delivery in the courts. To this end, you should painstakingly make efforts to improve the process of your courts in ways that promote confidence in the judicial system and reflect the philosophy taught to us by our founding fathers; “work hard, treat people fairly, and the rest will take care of itself.”
Earlier in her welcome speech, the Administrator of the National Judicial Institute (NJI), Justice Rosaline Bozimo, observed that the position of a head of court comes with enormous challenges as she called on them to always apply wisdom, intelligence and above all perseverance in handling situations first as heads of administration and second as judicial officers.
The administrator further expressed the need for heads of courts to provide a conducive environment for the actualisation of the vision they set out to achieve.
She further admonished participants to provide excellent judicial services, speedily and must be just in their decisions in other to remain relevant in the ever-changing judicial landscape.
The acting CJN who was represented by the President of the National Industrial Court (NIC), Justice Babatunde Adejumo, noted that for the courts to be efficient in the discharge of their functions, there must be an effective court management system.