Senate President Bukola Saraki yesterday described justice as keeping people safe and administering rule of law. Saraki, who spoke yesterday through Senator David Umoru, at the submission of the National Policy on Justice.
He said the policy, which also include tackling harm, rehabilitating and supporting victims was overdue, considering that the importance of administration of justice in the country.
The senate president added that an efficient justice delivery is central to the nation’s economic growth, development and the socio economic wellbeing of the citizens. According to him, inventors will only put their money in a place where there is a functional judicial system and where every citizen is governed in equal measures by the rule of law.
“It is my belief that in order to restore confidence amongst Nigerians in our justice system, judicial reforms need to be institutionalised and constantly reviewed to reflect the dynamics of the society,” he added.
A National Policy on Justice that is aimed at addressing decay in the justice sector was also yesterday adopted at a national summit in Abuja. The 34-page policy document provided a blueprint that outlined the various reforms desirable in the justice sector to engender smooth, fair, just and transparent administration of justice in the country.
Other issues addressed include delay in justice dispensation, lack of public confidence in justice delivery system and access to court and other challenges militating against efficient justice delivery.
The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami explained that the policy also contained the needed professional guidance for all justice sector institutions in the discharge of their duties and attainment of an effective and efficient administration of justice.
Represented by the Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Taiwo Abidogun, the minister noted that the policy has set out agreed principles and guidelines for effective and efficient service delivery.
He said: “The policy provides the framework for resolving cross institutional problem developing and managing an all-inclusive reforms, as well as coordinating the implementation of reforms.”
The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, who was represented by Justice Mary Odili stressed that courts have the responsibility of determining both criminal and civil cases.
He expressed the hope that the policy will achieve its goal of building consensus among justice sector institutions for the purpose of collectively addressing the major challenges facing the justice delivery.
Meanwhile, Saraki yesterday announced a downsizing of his official aides.He said the action was done to reposition his office for a stronger and efficient service delivery.
Saraki’s special adviser on media and publicity, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu disclosed that 98 persons were affected in the exercise. He denied speculations that the staff strength was reduced to cut cost.