House of Reps decry slow justice delivery and seek reforms

The members of the House of Representatives have expressed their concerns over the slow pace of justice delivery in Nigeria, stating and emphasizing on the need to carry out major reforms in the judiciary.

On Monday, the House Committee on Judiciary matters at its inaugural meeting which was held in Abuja vowed to spearhead the reforms, especially the one towards the decongestion of the prisons.

The Chairman of the committee, Mr Onofiok Luke, slightly noted that the oversight role of lawmakers over the judiciary is a huge task and all hands must be on deck.

He said: “The hugeness of this task is more demanding and pronounced in a developing democracy like ours where the independence and operations of our judiciary are constantly under severe threat.”

Luke further talked on the reforms and stated that there are a lot of reforms to be carried out in the judiciary system. He further explained that the committee is in synergy with relevant bodies and high profile stakeholders giving examples of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Ministry of Justice, the judiciary itself and civil society organisations.

“The slow pace at which justice is being delivered and a backlog of matters is a cause for serious concern.” Luke also stated

“Some matters which shouldn’t take long spend a minimum of 10 years before their final adjudication at the apex court; Supreme Court. A major part of this problem is that our legal system allows all matters to travel to the Supreme Court without giving limit.”

“In countries which are already developed like the United States, only constitutional and important matters reach the Supreme Court. Other general matters are handled by trial and appellate courts based on the precedents set by the Supreme Court” he concluded.

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