• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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NBA inaugurates Rules and Practice committee

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The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Augustine Alegeh, SAN, has inaugurated the Rules And Practice Committee of the Association. The event, which took place in Lagos, was attended by national officers of the NBA; Senior Advocates of Nigeria; Benchers; Branch Chairmen, and members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NBA.

The 13-man committee is saddled with the responsibility of reviewing the existing Civil and Criminal Procedure Rules in Courts in Nigeria and to propose amendments, modifications and new rules required to aid the speedy dispensation of justice; review existing practices and operation of the justice delivery system; propose modern Sentencing Guidelines for all our Courts; draw up modern Bail Guidelines for all our Courts; propose modern practicable Guidelines for Award of Costs for all our Courts, and importantly, identify and recommend such other Rules and Practices that would aid the overall justice delivery system in Nigeria.

Members of the committee include, Professor Fidelis Oditah SAN, QC as chairman; Osaro Eghobamien, SAN, as alternate chair, Titi Akinlawon, SAN, Nnenna Uko, Nnenna Ojiako, Emmanuel Egbunonu, Elisha Kura, Esq., Jude Rex Ungbuku Esq., Ekemejero Ohwovoriole Esq., Abdulwasiu Alfa Esq., Mutiu Ganiyu Babalola, and Alex Muoka, Esq.

Speaking at the event, the president explained that while association did not possess the legal powers to determine the Rules and Practices in our Courts, it had a crucial part to play in the nation’s justice delivery system and as such is obliged to put forward its position on how best to make the system work effectively.

He said: “Our administration of justice system must ensure prompt and effective determination of matters in a manner that the interests of litigants, judges, lawyers and other users of the justice system are made paramount and addressed accordingly.”

Further bemoaning the slow pace of administration of justice in our courts and certain rules that affect the process, the bar leader said, “I do not think that it is just by becoming a SAN that your matter should precedes all others in court, even when these persons have been in court long before your entrance. This is something we may want to reconsider in our bid to administer justice expeditiously. We have to come up with initiatives that would improve our rules and develop our practice with the hope of discarding age-long traditions that render our system inefficient.”

The committee’s inauguration is part of the association’s vision to act proactively to ensure an improved and effective justice delivery system in Nigeria – An element, vital to the attainment of rule of Law in any part of the world.

According to Alegeh, the association will do its best to push for the implementation of its position in all Nigerian Courts, when the committee is ready with its report. He noted however that to resolve disputes timeously, lawyers and judges must be provided with suitable work environment with rules that make it possible to aid the justice delivery system.

“The citizens who interface with the judicial system must also feel satisfied with the level of service delivery,” Alegeh said

The chairman of the committee, Fidelis Oditah, who thanked the president for the confidence imposed on the members of the committee, noted that in any economy the civil justice system was key to its progress.

“Which is why the committee is not only focused on Rules, but also on Practice. With the support of my other committee members, I propose that our work should be done in four weeks,” he said.

Thanking members of the committee for accepting to serve, the president urged them to approach their task with utmost dedication and responsibility.

“If we work as a body to come up with clear-cut guidelines for our Rules and Practice, I am certain we will make the desired change needed to improve our justice delivery system,” he said.

He further encouraged the committee members to remain steadfast in their task, disregarding actions that will distract them from the realisation of their set objectives as a committee.