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Buhari tasks Lawyers on speedy justice delivery

NEWSMAN, Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Lawyers to step up their justice delivery rate in the country.

He stated this on Wednesday while addressing the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) at their 60th Annual General Conference (AGC) tagged “Step Forward”.

President Buhari who was represented by Vice President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo who is also a Lawyer noted that maintaining law and order remained crucial to the sustenance of democracy in Nigeria.

“The theme you have selected ‘Step Forward’ is so apt and this means, taking responsibility, and it may also mean making progress. There are areas where I believe we need to step forward and resolve some of the problems of our system.”

The areas he identified include the “slow pace of trials in our courts, multiple and conflicting orders of the court, seeming bias towards technicalities, the appointment of judges, security, law and order, as well as rape and sexual offences.”

 “I was before the court for two and a half years from 2003 to 2005 and it took me two and a half years to fight for a four-year -Presidential mandate. In 2007, I was again in court for 20 months, almost two years, as petitioner, and later as the appellant in the case of Buhari Vs INEC and in 2011 again as petitioner in the case of CPC Vs INEC and at the end I lost all three cases; Then, I wondered why we had to take so long”, Buhari added.

“I was in court again in 2019; I was no longer a petitioner but a respondent in the case of Atiku Vs Buhari and the whole process took barely six months; Now what was the difference? The law had changed since my ordeal in 2003, 2007 and 2011; You had now introduced time limits for election petitions.”

“Why can’t we then put a rule that will say that a criminal trial up to the Supreme Court must not exceed 12 months in duration? I think that for me will be “stepping forward.” He asked.

He, therefore, said that it was needful for the speed of Nigeria’s legal institutions and processes must match with the global base.

Also speaking at the event, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) assured that his office “will continue to drive the much needed legal reforms in promoting the rule of law, and publishing full financial autonomy for the state legislators and state judiciary and re-invigorating the office of the A-G as the Chief Law office.

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