Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, has challenged the judiciary to come up with innovative models to vigorously tackle delay in justice delivery.
He stressed the need for all stakeholders to bring about the efficient administration of the justice system in the country.
“The plague of delay in justice delivery is still of major concern,” Ambode was quoted as saying on Monday in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Habib Aruna.
He added, “All stakeholders in the sector must ensure that the issue of delay is tackled vigorously by creating innovative models for achieving speedy and efficient justice delivery system which can be replicated more broadly across the country.
“As our state remains the cynosure of excellence and the economic hub of Africa, our judiciary must continue to be at the forefront of judicial reforms to meet the expectations of the modern day justice sector. My lords, we bear the responsibility of 24 million people who look up to you and me to protect them with the law.”
Governor Ambode, who spoke at a special service held in Lagos to mark the official commencement of 2018/2019 Legal Year of the state judiciary, noted that the justice sector must be sound, fair and effective.
He believes the expectation of the citizens is huge and it requires all stakeholders to work continuously to enhance confidence in the legal system, promote the rule of law, and guarantee the protection of lives and property.
The governor disclosed that since the inception of his administration, conscious efforts and initiatives have been put in place to enhance justice delivery, as well as respect the constitutional roles of the three arms of government.
“Our administration recognises the separate but interwoven roles of the three arms of government and part of our own commitment to a lawful and orderly society is to respect the limits of those constitutional roles which we have always done,” he said.
“One of the cardinal policies of our government has been the enthronement of law and order and today, I stand a happy man knowing we have delivered on those promises.”
Governor Ambode highlighted the appointment of more judges and magistrates, as well as the construction of more courthouses and renovation of existing courts as some of the interventions of his administration in the justice sector.
He explained that the government took the steps due to the increased workload and number of cases in the courts.
He added, “The introduction of the Lagos State DNA and Forensic Centre further enhanced the quality of justice delivery in the state and we have also developed policies and legislation that will aid speedy dispensation of justice.”
The governor who congratulated members of the judiciary on the commencement of the new legal year assured them of his continued support and partnership to further enhance justice delivery in the state.
In his sermon, the Diocesan Bishop of Lagos, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Rev Humphrey Olumakaiye, commended judges for their role in national development and asked them to dispense justice without fear or favour.
He said the judges, being distinguished and eminent people in the society, must know that it was God’s blessings that enriches, and as such, they should eschew injustice that can lead to chaos, disaster, and maladministration among others.