Some Lagos-based lawyers on Wednesday urged judicial authorities to improve the speed of justice delivery in the 2020/2021 legal year.
The lawyers made the appeal in interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.
NAN reports that the Lagos State Judiciary began a new legal year on September 21.
Yemi Omodele, Principal Partner in Yemi Omodele Chambers, Ikeja, urged judicial authorities to put stronger mechanisms in place to improve the speed of justice delivery.
He said that the speed of justice delivery in the last legal year was low.
He also urged the authorities to put more measures in place to improve virtual court proceedings.
“We heard of virtual court hearings but in reality, the percentage of judges working is quite low compared to the pre-COVID-19 era.
“Measures should be put in place to ensure that justice is delivered fast to litigants, lawyers and the society at large,” Omodele advised.
He added that the rate at which cases were being adjourned should be addressed, adding that incessant power outage in courts should be tackled to avoid disruption of proceedings.
He advised that renovation of courts should be done during vacations.
Omodele said, “When you renovate courts during sittings, it is a way of frustrating litigants and lawyers.
“These issues prolong number of years a case takes before being concluded.
“I subscribe to the idea of litigants knowing their fate within a reasonable time, after approaching the court for redress, than a case taking six to eight years before it is concluded.
“I expect this new legal year to be more fruitful, more strategic; expectations of litigants should be met,” Omodele said.
Chris Ayiyi, owner of Edeokpa Chambers, Apapa, urged the judiciary to put measures in place in the new legal year to address delays experienced by lawyers while filing cases.
“We expect no more queues during filing.
“Probate department should be accessible more than before,” Ayiyi urged.
He advised that pending criminal cases should be attended to quickly since most of such cases were not attended to due to lockdown
caused by novel coronavirus pandemic.
Adebayo Akinlade, a former Chairman of the Ikorodu Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association,
called on the executive arm of government to give full financial autonomy to the judiciary.
“This new legal year, I expect the executive arm of government to give the judicial arm full financial autonomy.
“Judiciary should be allowed to run its own affairs,” Akinlade urged.