2023 Legal Year: Bago Tasks Judiciary On Justice, Fairness
By Mohammed Baba Busu
Gov. Umaru Bago of Niger has called on the judiciary to remain committed to the principles of justice, fairness, and equality.
The governor made the call during a special court session to celebrate the commencement of the 2023/2024 legal year, held at the Judiciary Complex, Minna.
This is contained in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Bologi Ibrahim, issued to newsmen in Minna on Tuesday.
Bago said that the judiciary played a vital role in upholding the rule of law and ensuring justice for all thereby making the society stable.
He extolled the relentless efforts of the judiciary in protecting the rights of the citizens and maintaining the integrity of the legal system.
The governor appreciated the steadfastness and commitment of judiciary workers and called for the sustenance of the tempo.
“We have witnessed the resilience of our legal system in the face of various challenges.
“The courts have continued to dispense justice impartially and efficiently in spite of limited resources and growing caseloads,” Bago said.
The governor, however, called on them to ensure that justice was always timely and accessible
“Explore innovative strategies that will quicken the resolution of cases, and continue to promote ethical conduct and professionalism among others,” he urged.
Bago promised that his administration would strengthen the existing relationship between the executive and judiciary.
“And will remain unwavering in supporting the judiciary in the area of welfare, promotion, accommodation, and mobility among others,” he said.
On her part, the Chief Judge of Niger, Justice Halima Abdulmalik, acknowledged the challenges and successes recorded by the state’s judiciary.
She said, ”In line with the provision of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law Section 528, we have inaugurated a monitoring team to check incidences of thuggery and insecurity bedeviling the state.”
Abdulmalik said that in a bid to enhance the administration of justice in the state, there had been an issuance to abolish trial within trial in criminal cases to facilitate speedy dispensation of Justice.
“With a call on members of the Bar, who use all means to prolong hearings of cases to desist from it as such actions will no longer be tolerated,” she said
The chief judge disclosed that 3,418 cases were pending in the year 2022/2023, 486 were freshly filed, while 2,932 were brought forward from the preceding year with 448 cases disposed of.
“While for the Magistracy, 8,840 cases were filed, 5,478 were disposed and 3,243 are pending,” she added
The Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the State, Mr Nasiru Mu’azu, described the legal system as a guardian of human rights, a bulwark against injustice, and a beacon of hope for those seeking redress.
In their separate remarks, the representatives of Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Garba Tetengi, SAN, the Chairman Nigeria Bar Association, Minna branch, Waziri Muhammad, and that of the Suleja branch, Ibrahim Bako, appreciated the chief judge for her efforts in changing the judicial system of the state.
They solicited more collaboration with all the relevant stakeholders to always ensure effective justice based on objectivity, devoid of sentiments. (NAN)