Justice Aloma Mukhtar
The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Mukhtar, Wednesday assured the public that the judiciary under her administration would not let them down.
Speaking at a special session to mark the beginning of a new legal year in Abuja, Mukhtar said she and her colleagues in the judiciary understood the enormity of the challenges before them.
She said: “You will agree with me that the stakes are indeed high and the challenges very enormous, our resolve remains absolute.
“In the new legal year, our efforts will be redoubled to ensure that the confidence bestowed on us by the people and by God will not be thrown into abyss.
“The ultimate goal is where the hope of the public lies and we will, on our own part do everything necessary to keep that hope alive, knowing that the judiciary is the only catalyst for societal cohesion.”
At the ceremony, 25 lawyers who were recently conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) were also inaugurated.
She noted that a society could operate under the rule of law only if laws were administered fairly, rationally, consistently, impartially and devoid of any improper influences.
She said that cases would be determined speedily at all levels of court.
In order to reduce the length of time it takes to determine cases, Mukhtar said that the judiciary would embrace computerisation.
To this end, she said that the National Judicial Council would issue a policy guideline whereby all serving judicial officers and support staff of the judiciary would be computer literate.
She expressed concern at the refusal of some states to fund their judiciary adequately.
Menawhile, Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has presented the first edition of the Laws of Ekiti State to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mukhtar.
Presenting copies of the laws to the CJN in her office at the Supreme Court Complex, Abuja, Fayemi said the gesture was to keep the Supreme Court abreast of the new laws, a gesture that has finally freed the state from its 15 years long appendage to her sister state, Ondo State.
Fayemi said the publication of the laws of the state was an important milestone in achieving certainty and predictability in the administration of justice in the state as the gesture would ease the stress of legal practitioners, students of law, academia and stakeholders in the justice sector who had to “sieve through the laws of old Ondo State to find the true position” of Ekiti laws.
He reiterated his administration’s commitment to a system of justice that is simpler, more efficient, more effective and more responsive to the needs of Ekiti people; saying the vision of the administration is to bring about a justice system that guarantees fair and equal access to justice.
While presenting Mr. Femi Falana and Dayo Akinlaja, who were inaugurated as Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), Fayemi informed the CJN of the on-going efforts of his administration to reform the judicial sector in the state.
In her remarks, Justice Mukhtar commended the effort of the state government under Fayemi for embarking on the new laws, saying the gesture would make the dispensation of justice easier, especially in quoting from the laws.
Mukhtar, who expressed joy that the new laws have come during her tenure as CJN, asserted that it is ideal for the State to have its own laws after 15 years of creation.
It would be recalled that Governor Fayemi appended his assent to a bill on the first edition of the laws of the state on March 9, this year.