Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Mahmoud Mohammed, has expressed regret that the Rules of Court are used as impediments rather than as implements for smooth administration of justice. Speaking on the topic “The Future of Administration of Justice in Nigeria” at the just concluded Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, 55th annual general conference in Abuja, Justice Mohammed called on lawyers to have a unity of purpose.
He said: “In the administration of justice, there is nothing more destructive than a divided house. Sadly, Rules of Court are used as impediments rather than as implements for smooth administration of justice. I am aware of the unfortunate tendency for members of the Bar, both senior and junior, to resort to unprofessional tactics, hiding under technicalities of some rule of procedure or the other, to impede the speedy dispensation of justice.
“We must all adopt an attitudinal change in this respect. The legal profession must have a unity of purpose.
In achieving this unity of purpose, there has never been a need so pressing as the formalization of an interface for the promotion of best standards in the administration of justice. There is no better forum than the periodic interaction between the Bench and the Bar. It is my opinion that this interface must be institutionalized in order for us to maintain the integrity, probity, honour and dignity of the profession.”
However, NBA President, Mr. Augustine Alegeh SAN, on his part, maintained that lawyers have played invaluable roles in making positive changes and contributing to National Development in several Countries. In his welcome at the conference with the theme “Lawyers and National Development” Alegeh said “We must all take great pride and draw inspiration from the works of Mahatma Gandhi in India, Nelson Mandela in South Africa, Barack Obama in the United States of America to mention just a few.
Our choice of Dr. Willy Munyoki Mutunga, the Honourable Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court of Kenya as the Keynote Speaker of the 2015 NBA Annual General Conference is very instructive and is inspired by the innovative steps that he has taken to transform the Kenyan judicial system since his appointment as the Chief Justice.
“The work of our keynote Speaker in Kenya has created a stable, reliable and progressive judicial system that has boosted investor confidence and contributed immensely to increasing Foreign Direct Investment [FDI] in Kenya.”