Supreme Court justices: Lawyers expect greater dividends to justice sector

By Chidinma Ewunonu-Aluko

Some lawyers in Ibadan on Tuesday lauded the appointment and swearing in of 11 Supreme Court justices, saying that it should result in greater dividends to the justice sector.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the justices were sworn in by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola on Monday in Abuja.

The lawyers – Mr Oluseun Abimbola (SAN), Emeka Ngige (SAN), Mrs Folasade Aladeniyi (Esq) and Mr Tobi Fatoki (Esq)– spoke with NAN on Tuesday in Ibadan.

Abimbola said that it was  remarkable and commendable that the Supreme Court had its full number of Justices to strengthen its capacity and turnaround time for justice delivery.

The SAN said that, for a while, due to retirement and death of some justices, the Supreme Court was burdened with workloads.

“Now, it is expected that the response time to scheduling of cases will be faster.

“We expect multiple panels to sit weekly and an incremental output in judgments from the court.

“We should commend the CJN, National Judicial Council, Senate and the president for the timely response of the current administration and the institutions to the dire need to fill the vacant slots in the court,” Abimbola said.

Commenting, Ngige said that the judiciary should be elated that the 11 justices had been sworn in.

"With their swearing in, workloads on the other justices will be reduced considerably.

"With their entry to the apex court, the Supreme Court may bring to closer dates, cases adjourned to 2027 and 2028 because of depletion in the number of justices.

"In effect, there is likely to be faster determination of appeals at the Supreme Court,” he said.

The SAN recommended that the Supreme Court should use  modern technologies  such as virtual hearings tools to dispense justice.

Similarly, Aladeniyi, the Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association, Ibadan, described the appointments and swearing in as laudable and long overdue.

“Hopefully, this will lead to decongestion of the court dockets in the apex court if the court maximises this development.

“The newly-elevated justices are tested and experienced.

“The Supreme Court  will surely bring greater dividends to the justice sector,” Aladeniyi said.

On his part, Fatoki remarked that, with the additional justices, the judiciary would be  having  a large number of Supreme Court justices after a very long time.

“Lots of backlog of cases will now be dispensed, as there won’t be  unnecessary adjournments.

"This is laudable, it is good for quick justice dispensation.  We congratulate the CJN and all of us,” he said.

Fatoki  urged the newly-sworn in justices to uphold the rule of law and keep the nation in peace and order through the mechanism of justice. (NAN)