The Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Oshinbajo GCON has charged participants at the 2022 edition of Justice Sector Summit to come up with practical solutions towards solving the challenges facing the justice sector. The Vice President gave this charge in his address at the Justice Sector Summit 2022 with the theme: Devising Practical Solutions towards Improved Performance, Enhanced Accountability and Independence in the Justice Sector held on Tuesday 25th January, 2022 at the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Center, Abuja.
The event was organized by the Nigerian Bar Association and the Justice Research Institute was in collaboration with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Justice Reform Project (JRP). Prof. Osinbajo further charged them to adduce recommendations toward “establishing a merit based selection and promotion process for judicial officers, devising a new approach for judicial budgeting and funding, remuneration and welfare of judicial officers and providing solutions to delay in justice delivery system”.
In addition, he stated that the summit should focus its discussions on practical and doable solutions on a short, medium and long term basis. According to him, “unless the nation tackles most of the identified challenges, the system may not be comparative enough to attract foreign and even local investors. The extent to which we can attract investment to our country depends in part on investors’ perception of the quality of our justice system”. Oshinbajo concluded.
In his contribution, the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami SAN, during the interactive session identified appointment based on merit and competence, speedy dispensation of justice and proper accountability of funding and no considerations in handling high profile cases as keys to enhance judicial system in Nigeria. He added that if they were looking for integrity associated with the system, there were some innovations in the judicial process that allow for scrutiny and integrity of personalities to be appointed as judicial officers.
Malami maintained that there was the need for the judiciary sector to “open its own book” the same way and manner the legislature and executive subject themselves for scrutiny. The HAGF explained “that in order to enhance the quality of the system in terms of processes of appointment, there has to be an accommodation of merit, as a basis for consideration instead of developing guidelines that would technically knock out others from coming to the system”. He therefore urged the judiciary to live up to its responsibility and support initiative that will bring the desired result in administration of justice the country
President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr Olumide Akpata explained that the aim of the summit was the establishment and maintenance of an effective, fair, humane, accessible and accountable justice sector in Nigeria that enjoys the trust and confidence of citizens and businesses.
Also in attendance among others were Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Amina Adamu Augie, CON, Moderator: Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, and the President, Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Olumide Akpata during the plenary session at the summit, the Chief Justices of Oyo, Kaduna, Anambra, Plateau, Kwara, Borno, Nasarawa and Bayelsa States as well as other high profile judicial officers who participated virtually.