Urgent Plea: Oyo State Urged to Bolster Judicial System with More Judges.
The Ibadan branch of the Nigerian Bar Association has issued a pressing plea to Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, urging the appointment of a new president for the Customary Court of Appeal and the augmentation of judges to ensure swifter justice delivery.
In a statement signed by Mrs. Folasade Aladeniyi, Mr. Olakunle Akintola, and Mr. Oluwatobi Fatoki, the association underscored the necessity of appointing a successor to the retired President of the Oyo State Customary Court of Appeal, in accordance with the provisions of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution.
Highlighting the confirmation of a successor by the National Judicial Council (NJC) in December 2023, the association expressed concern over the delay in forwarding the nominee’s name to the Oyo State House of Assembly for confirmation, emphasizing the urgency of the matter.
Furthermore, the association recalled Governor Makinde’s approval in 2021 for the Oyo State Judicial Service Commission to initiate the appointment process for additional judges. However, the process encountered a setback when an NJC inspection team, tasked with confirming resources for incoming judges, found no operational vehicles available in 2023, impeding progress.
With only 23 judges in the High Court and three in the Customary Court of Appeal, the association emphasized the pressing need for more judges in Oyo State, given its diverse demographic. Overwhelmed sitting judges have resulted in case backlogs, adversely affecting justice delivery.
The association appealed to Governor Makinde to prioritize the appointment of more judges, emphasizing that this step is crucial in addressing delays in justice delivery effectively.
Additionally, the plea extended to improving the welfare of legal practitioners serving in the state’s Ministry of Justice. Reports of insufficient vehicles hindering their duties and administrative inefficiencies leading to ineffective service delivery underscored the need for immediate attention.
By enhancing the judicial system with more judges and addressing welfare concerns, Oyo State can ensure timely justice delivery and uphold its reputation as the Pace-Setter State.