From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, urged stakeholders in the judicial sector to work hard in reversing the negative perception about the speed of justice delivery in the country.
Osibanjo, who expressed the need for the transformation of the judiciary in the country, equally advocated the creation of a benchmark in the salaries of judicial officers and that of the legislators.
He spoke at the Justice Sector Summit, organised by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and other stakeholders, entitled: “Devising Practical Solutions Towards Improved Performance, Enhanced Accountability and Independence in the Justice Sector.”
This, he explained, would bring an end to the perennial disputes among the two other arms of government.
According to Osinbajo, “there is also no question that the expeditious delivery of justice cannot wait any longer. The reputation of our system for repeatedly resulting in what the United Kingdom Court of Appeal described as ‘catastrophic delays’ must be reversed.
“We can do better. We have to do better. Our problems are ours, not for spirits, to solve. We must be deliberate in our approach. We must rediscover those attributes that made Nigeria’s judiciary a supplier of high calibre judicial personnel to other countries on the continent.
“Devising workable solutions to the problem of delays in the justice delivery system and the implementation of a court monitoring scheme are the remaining areas of focus.”
The vice president said the system in the welfare conditions of the judicial officers must be strengthened to make them live above board and to also attract the best brains into the bench.
He challenged the bar to use the summit to address the issue of long delay in the disposal of cases in the nation’s court, as such, he stated, goes a long way in determining how other nations see Nigerian and want to invest in the country.
The vice president faulted the way and manner appointees are been scrutinise, adding that the take-a-bow policy be discarded, adding that appointment issues should no longer be treated with kids’ gloves.
On the question of appointments, “I think it is fair to say any job at all, no matter how menial or exalted, it is the norm that the applicant will go through some process of evaluation and interview. The rigour of such processes usually depends on the enormity of the responsibility the applicant is to bear, and ultimately, the outcome considered reasonable from such an exercise is that it is the best from among the applicants that will emerge successful.”