The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (HAGF), Lateef Fagbemi SAN, has revealed that the Federal Government, under the leadership of the President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR was set to address significantly the challenges plaguing Nigeria’s justice sector and paved the way for the much-needed reforms that will make justice more accessible to all Nigerians.

Fagbemi stressed that the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Justice under his watch, would lead efforts to collectively tackle the pressing issues hindering the efficient, fair, and people-centred delivery of justice in the nation.

The HAGF made the statement today, 11th April 2024, at the Olusegun Obasanjo Conference Hall in the Ministry’s Headquarters, Abuja, when he addressed the media on the upcoming National Summit on Justice, 2024. The Federal Ministry of Justice (FMOJ) is organising the summit in collaboration with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the National Judicial Council (NJC) from 24th – 25th April 2024 to address critical challenges in the justice sector.

The Summit with the theme: “Repositioning the Justice System: Constitutional, Statutory, and Operational Reforms for Access and Efficiency” is scheduled to hold at the Auditorium of the National Judicial Institute (NJI) in Abuja. His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, is expected to declare the event open on April 24.

According to the HAGF, “This crucial event seeks to address the significant challenges plaguing Nigeria’s justice sector and pave the way for much-needed reforms to make justice more accessible to all Nigerians. It will bring together experts, legal professionals, and key stakeholders from across the country to engage in constructive discussions and develop practical solutions that prioritise the justice needs of the average Nigerian”. He added.

The HAGF stated that “The National Summit on Justice presents a unique opportunity to collectively tackle the pressing issues hindering the efficient, fair, and people-centred delivery of justice in our nation. The Joint Planning Committee established by the Federal Ministry of Justice and the NBA, headed by the Chairman of the NBA Judiciary Committee, Dr Babatunde Ajibade, SAN, has assembled a remarkable group of speakers and panellists to share their invaluable knowledge and expertise and proffer constructive solutions for making the justice system more efficient and accessible to all Nigerians”. The Minister further stated.

Fagbemi further said, “One of the Summit’s goals is to review, validate, and adopt the revised National Policy on Justice 2024 – 2028 to drive prison reforms, access to justice for the average Nigerian, as well as the review of electoral laws and procedures in handling election-related cases, among several other reforms. This comprehensive policy document outlines a broad framework and initiatives in 17 thematic areas aimed at reforming the justice sector to enhance its effectiveness and accessibility to all Nigerians, ensuring that justice is not just a privilege for the few, but a right for all”.

The HAGF also stated that “the Summit will deliberate on draft legislations proposed to address specific identified challenges within the justice sector, relating to the judicial appointments process, administration, funding and budgeting for the judiciary, the elimination of delays and inefficiencies in justice delivery and to evolve ways to reduce the amount of time for adjudication of cases, eliminate some of the associated technicalities, and reduce the number of cases getting to the Supreme Court. In this regard, we intend to look at a situation where many cases will terminate at the court of appeal to reduce the burden on our noble justices of the Supreme Court”.

Fagbemi admonished that the nation would not remain complacent in the face of the obstacles impeding the efficient delivery of justice for all Nigerians, asserting that the Summit presented an opportunity for Nigerians to unite efforts, leverage collective expertise, and chart a course toward a more just and equitable society.

While answering questions from the judiciary correspondents, the HAGF maintained that with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, in the saddle, the Justice Sector is in good hands, having pioneered judicial reforms when he was Governor of Lagos State.
The summit will feature a keynote address by Dr. Willy Mutunga, EGH, a renowned legal scholar, jurist and former Chief Justice of Kenya.

In his vote of thanks, the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Yakubu Maikyau (SAN), explained that the leadership of HAGF has given profound attention to issues relating to the Judiciary, considering that it played a pivotal role in the Justice Sector.

About the author

Joseph Chukwuma Oputa

Joseph Chukwuma Oputa is the Managing Editor of Maslow Businessnews and Physicians News publications published by Maslow Business News Publications, Lagos, Nigeria.

Joseph Oputa is a proud Alumnus of the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos and Federal Polytechnic, Bida, Niger State.

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