Institute backs CJN on financial autonomy for judiciary
STRONG support has come from the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators’ call to President Muhammadu Buhari to grant financial autonomy to the judiciary to make the courts truly independent.
Last week, the CJN had told a gathering of judges at the All Nigerian Judges Conference that lack of financial autonomy threatened the independence of the judiciary.
The CJN said that with only about 1% of the nation’s yearly budget allocated to the judiciary, the courts were truly not independent.
Lending his voice in support of the CJN, at a conference on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and induction of new members of the institute in Abuja, the President of the institute, Dr Louis Brown Ogbeifun said “financial autonomy for the judiciary was necessary to achieve the reforms needed for efficient and effective administration of justice in the country.”
Ogbeifun said recalled the industrial action embarked upon last year by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria over the refusal to comply with the provisions of the constitution granting financial autonomy to the courts saying that that allowing judiciary to have financial autonomy would save the country from such embarrassment.
He commended the courts for integrating the concept of ADR into the Nigerian Legal System and prayed judges nationwide to continue to use alternative dispute resolution in resolving cases.
He said: “In furtherance to embracing efficient and effective ADR options, the modern-day court system has continued to ensure the use of ADR in the legal framework by establishing multi-door courthouses in Lagos, Kano, Uyo, Asaba among others “
Ogbeifun charged members of the public to embrace arbitration and mediation in resolving disputes saying that ADR had very strong socio-cultural beginnings in Africa.
He said: “Just as our forebears lubricated the wheels of societal relationships with their own home-grown dispute resolution mechanism, our modern day systems have not only incorporated these ideals into workable and effective structures but have graduated the systems from a single platform into multi-doors’ system.”
He also prayed President Muhammadu Buhari to sign into law the ICMC Bill which was passed by the Seventh National Assembly.