President Muhammadu Buhar today declared the all Nigeria Judges Conferece opened in Abuja with a task to the judiciary to restore public confidence in the sector
The occasion provided an opportunity for the President to clear some grey areas on his perception of the judiciary based on the controversy that trailed the raid on some judges by Security agencies over alleged graft
He said he still believe that here are many honourable judicial officials saying the raid is just targeted at few elements in the sector
According to him, the theme of the conference “Strengthening Judicial Integrity and the Rule of Law” is very apt considering the fact that the Nation's democracy cannot survive without strict adherence to the rule of law
"My Lords, Distinguished delegates, the prime purpose of any government is to regulate social relations within its territorial jurisdiction. Without the rule of law the government will degenerate into dictatorship or anarchy" he added
He said the theme for this year keys in with his Administration’s resolve to strengthen the three arms of government to effectively fulfill their constitutional obligations.
"For the judiciary, the public expects fairness, impartiality and speed in the administration of justice. Regrettably court cases can drag on for years and years, sometimes decades without resolution. I need only mention land cases in Lagos to illustrate my point"
" Furthermore, there are huge backlogs of cases waiting to be dispensed especially at the Appellate levels. Reform of the judiciary should start at eliminating these seemingly endless delays in settling what to the layman are apparently simple cases"
"Again, litigants expect that higher courts should endeavour to harmonise their rulings. There are contradictory decisions of superior courts on the same subject matter in cases where facts are substantially the same without a clear attempt in subsequent cases to distinguish the earlier cases. This lack of clarity leads to serious confusion to the lower courts"
While emphasising the need to decongest the prison he promised that his administration would continue to fund the judiciary to discharge its duties accordingly, this commitment he said is reflected in the jump in budgetary allocation to the sector
"Mr. Chief Justice, our Administration’s commitment is to accord the Judiciary its constitutional rights. I therefore commend your recent decision to ask all judges at lower courts to provide you with a comprehensive list of all corruption and financial crimes in order to designate special courts to handle them. I support your action and the public is awaiting the results of this initiative" he