Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

Targets enhanced justice delivery in Nigeria

Maureen Okpe

President Bola Tinubu, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Olukayode Ariwoola, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, and other stakeholders within Nigeria’s justice system are gearing up for a pivotal summit aimed at adopting the National Policy on Justice 2024. The two-day summit policy, which starts on Wednesday and is titled “Enhancing Justice Delivery in Nigeria,” serves as a guiding roadmap for government, civil society, and donor interventions in the realm of justice delivery across the nation. 

Spearheaded by the Federal Ministry of Justice in collaboration with the Nigerian Bar Association, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), and other key development partners, the National Justice Summit seeks to catalyse dialogue and reimagine the landscape of justice delivery in Nigeria.

This was contained in a statement on Tuesday signed by the Project Manager, Component 1 – Criminal Justice Reform of the RoLAC II Programme, International IDEA, Mr. Badejogbin Oluwatoyin.

According to the statement, the Summit will highlight the critical role of the justice system in upholding the rule of law, ensuring accountability, and safeguarding citizens’ rights, the summit aims to address persistent challenges such as trial delays and prison congestion. Despite commendable progress in strengthening access to justice, certain segments of the population, including women, children, and persons with disabilities, still face barriers to effective justice.

The inaugural summit held in 2017 resulted in the adoption of Nigeria’s pioneering National Policy on Justice (NPJ) 2017, a robust framework designed to tackle the myriad issues plaguing the country’s justice sector. With a focus on achieving equitable, fair, and efficient administration of justice, NPJ 2017 aims to enhance access to justice, promote transparency, strengthen legal protections, and ensure the timely delivery of justice.

Distinguished attendees at the forthcoming summit, scheduled for April 24-25, 2024, will include Chief Judges, Attorneys-General, and Solicitors-General from Nigeria’s 36 states, convened under the esteemed Chairmanship of Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola. The event will be inaugurated by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and will see the participation of prominent figures from the legal fraternity, the legislative branch, and beyond.

International IDEA is the implementer of the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) Programme Phase II, which is funded by the European Union. The RoLAC II Programme aims to contribute to the consolidation of the rule of law and anti-corruption reforms in Nigeria. With a focus on enhancing the performance, quality, and oversight of the criminal justice system and justice service delivery, the Programme promotes transparency, accountability, and effectiveness within the Nigerian justice sector. Building on the achievements of the previous RoLAC I Programme, RoLAC II aligns with the objectives of the EU–Federal Republic of Nigeria Multi-Annual Indicative Programme (MIP) 2022-2027. It aims to further consolidate the justice sector and anti-corruption reforms, reduce gender-based violence, and promote respect for human rights.

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