• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Buhari decries slow pace of court trials, proposes 12-month time for criminal cases


President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, lamented the slow pace of court trials in Nigeria as one of the areas that must be urgently reformed for the sustenance of law and order.


The president recommended a number of reforms for the justice sector in his opening speech at the 60th Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on Wednesday, August 26, 2020.


Buhari, who recalled how it took so long for the courts to decide and eventually dismiss the election petitions he filed to challenge his losses in the 2003, 2007, and 2011 presidential polls, declared that the Nigerian justice system needed an urgent reform.


The president suggested that the judiciary should put a 12-month time limit on the hearing of criminal cases from the high court to the Supreme Court, while all civil cases should be concluded within 15 months.


Buhari, represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said the legal profession is crucial to the sustenance of democracy, law, and order, and must be made more effective than it currently is in a country facing daunting social and economic challenges.


The president advised that justice delivery be further enhanced by the use of technology. He said the possibilities of virtual platforms, enforced by the COVID-19 pandemic, must be maximised in the justice sector.


Buhari also proposed a reform of the process of judges’ appointment, recommending that aspiring judges should take tests.