Lagos State Chief Judge Justice Opeyemi Oke

To facilitate justice delivery, Lagos State Chief Judge Justice Opeyemi Oke, yesterday unveiled the new High Court of Lagos State (Civil Procedure) Rules 2019.

The enforcement of the rules begins on January 31.

But lawyers kicked against the rules, claiming that they were denied to frustrate them and their clients.

At the event held at the conference room of the Ikeja High Court, Justice Oke said: “The principal target of reform is to facilitate total justice delivery by ensuring speedy dispensation of justice and the restoration of public confidence in our judicial system.”

She said for long, excessive delay had been an embarrassing feature of the administration of justice, adding: “The inadequacies in our civil procedure rules and abuse of its provisions were identified as a contributory factor to the delay. A number of the procedures in the old rules could not meet the demands of modern civil justice and fell starkly behind international best standards.

“It, therefore, became expedient to address these problems by introducing reforms directed towards the achievement of a just, speedy and efficient administration of justice, in line with the commitment statement of this administration. A review was also essential to further reinforce the independence of the judiciary and address the lacuna identified in the 2012 Rules, to deny them as a tool exploited to defeat the ends of justice.”

She said the review of the 2012 Rules was kick-started last year and a 15-man review committee was set up under the leadership of Justice Kazeem Alogba.

To ensure all-inclusive rules, Justice Oke said the committee received contributions from stakeholders, including Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) branches in the state and the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN).

Justice Alogba hailed members for their contributions during the assignment.

NBA Ikeja branch Chairman Dele Oloko said members did not attend the event because some aspects of the new court rules were obnoxious and punitive.

The branch, he said, was considering a boycott of the court because of the rules.

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