Ademola Babalola in Ibadan
Apparently miffed by the near absence of an enabling justice system in the nation’s judicial administration policy, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has raised hope of a structural balance in the nation’s justice delivery.
Malami who spoke yesterday said that the new National Policy on Justice would address the challenges militating against an effective administration of justice in Nigeria.
Represented by the Director, Public Prosecution of the Federation, Etsu Mohammed, at the national sensitisation policy on justice for the South-west geopolitical zone, which was held at Kakanfo Inn and Conference Centre, Ibadan, Malami said his ministry was making efforts to provide an opportunity to strengthen collaboration among justice sector institutions for effective service delivery and to promote the rule of law.
He said, “This workshop underscores the determination of the Federal Ministry of Justice under our leadership to continue to mobilise institutions to put in place structures and policies to address the various challenges militating against the justice system in Nigeria.”
The Justice Minister stressed that participants at the workshop would examine the justice policy and initiate an implementation roadmap that would articulate into an implementation strategy plan.
“Given the challenges militating against an effective administration of justice and the peculiarity of our federal system, there is the need to harmonise and integrate the various justice sector reform initiatives into a clearly articulated policy that defines the philosophy of our justice system,” he added.
The secretary, Federal Justice Sector Reform Coordinating Committee, Federal Ministry of Justice, Felix Ota-Okojie, lamented the delay in justice dispensation in Nigeria, saying that the new policy on justice would also address prison congestion and other problems in the justice system.
He said, “The essence of this workshop is to create awareness. This is the first time in Nigeria that we are having a national policy on justice. We felt it was important to create awareness around the policy and to also involve stakeholders in articulating and implementation of the policy.
“The policy is a broad framework that articulates the challenges in the justice sector. It also puts in place reform strategies to address the challenges that have been identified. We talk about issue adjudication, congestion in the prison and legal framework for socio-economic development. These and more are what the policy is addressing.”
Okojie added that the policy was critical to the present administration’s fight against corruption, saying that the national policy on justice was an instrument of justice to fight corruption.