Some lawyers in Lagos on Monday pleaded with the judiciary to ensure speedy dispensation of justice in the new legal year.
The lawyers made the appeal while speaking to reporters at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos, after a special church service, marking the opening of the Lagos State Judiciary legal year.
One of the lawyers, Mr Ige Asemudara, said that lawyers would do their best to support the bench to achieve the aims of justice delivery in the new legal year.
He, however, appealed to judges “to as much as possible embrace speed and fairness in their dispensation of justice”.
Asemudara also appealed to the executive arm of government to ensure independence of the judiciary which, he said, had been clamoured for over the years.
“Although the concept of independence of the judiciary was not developed in Nigeria and is a problem world over, the country should have gone beyond the point that we are.
“We expect that this new legal year will engender a change.
“We should also as a people put pressure on the executive to let the judiciary gain its independence.
“A judge will not just give a decision that is completely off radar if nothing is pushing him or her.
“So I think the time for the independence of the judiciary is now,” Asemudara said.
Another lawyer, Mr Adesola Abimbola, the Chairman of the Epe, Lagos Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, urged the judiciary to ensure that every citizen would have equal access to justice.
“This new legal year, I expect to experience a country where justice, rule of law and gender equality reign.
“We also want to experience practical independence of the judiciary,” Abimbola said.
In his remark, Dr Daniel Idibia, told the judiciary to improve on its supervisory role on some judges, delaying hearings of cases.
Idibia also appealed to the judiciary to pay more attention and do more research on quick dispensation of justice.
“The judiciary should research more and focus on how fast a civil case can take in court from commencement of action to the determination of such suit.
“This, in my view, at most should not be more than three years but the current practice is really far from such as many cases last for 10 years or more in courts,” Idibia said.
The Rt. Rev. Humphrey Olumakaiye, while delivering a sermon at the church service, told the judiciary not to accept bribes but to see the profession as a call to service.
He said that God placed people in the profession to help do justice to everyone whether rich or poor.
Olumakaiye appealed to judicial workers to use their offices to advise government to restrict peddling of drugs in the country, to stop untimely death of youths, dealing in dangerous drugs.
Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Silas Nwoha