See what FCT NBA Chairman told FCT Director of Magistrates
THE SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE CHAIRMAN OF NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION (NBA) BWARI BRANCH ON THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE’S COURTESY VISIT TO THE DIRECTOR OF MAGISTRATES FCT
To begin with, Nigerian Bar Association Bwari Branch appreciates your good and warmth reception, particularly your disposition towards receiving the Executive Committee and other stakeholders of our branch. We equally salute your courage and your proactive disposition towards expanding access to justice in the FCT Magistracy. It is upon this crucial role that the Branch pitches its tent and identifies with you as indispensable stakeholder in the justice administration.
Our administration is built on the conviction that the bar and the bench are symbiotic and share a common destiny, promoting the RULE OF LAW, ensuring quick dispensation of justice in our courts, allaying fears of citizens by allowing equal access to justice administration. It is imperative for the bar and the bench to work together as strong indivisible bloc towards improving on the courts administrative system, courts facilities, human and material resources for a better justice administration.
It is to this end, our branch has drawn an Action Plan on various interventions in our courts, first in line with the implementation of Admnistration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015. In line with this mandate, the branch is in partnership with Rule of Law and Anti-corruption (ROLAC) an appendage of British Council for support in this direction. Towards this end various committees have been inaugurated by the branch to work with the relevant agencies, corporate bodies, CSO, CBO and development partners in carrying out our mandate. To mention but few, we have committees on (i) Human Rights, (ii) Bar and Bench Relation (iii) Anti- Corruption Committee/Criminal Justice/Rule of Law (iv) Police Relation/Duty Solicitors (v) Court Monitoring and Maintenance, the list is indispensable. It is our desire that all the committees mentioned here will be interacting with your office in the course of this administration and in line with our mandate.
AREA OF PARTNERSHIP
Nevertheless, it is essential to state specifically areas of our collaboration and support with the magistrate courts within Bwari Judicial Division and the FCT magistrate courts in general. Our branch has created a legal clinic for our engagement in Pro bo no services for the indigents. One of our strategies in achieving this is through detention facilities visitations. Having appreciated the visitation by your department and our magistrates’ monthly visitation to detentions, our branch through its committees on Human Rights PDSS, and other relevant committee will be holding a joint visitation with your office. In this line, we enjoin your office to accommodate our representatives’ in the future joint visitations.
Sequel to my address on the 2019/2020 Legal Year, the branch is ready to partner with court in maintaining and repairing courts facilities through soliciting assistance from the senior members of the bar. A Committee on Court Monitoring and Maintenance has been set up for that purpose. It is our desire that your office will give the branch the needed supports towards access to the facilities. Our aim is to complement the efforts of the bench in this direction. We also appreciate the challenge facing by the bench in this period of interference in judicial independence and dwindling economy. Our Committee which is headed by the secretary of the branch through your assistance will liaise with the Chief Magistrate of courts within our jurisdiction to identify what can be done and how such assignment will be carried out without friction.
DECENTRALISATION OF LIBRARY AND PROVISION OF LAWYERS LODGE, TOILETS FACILITIES IN BWARI JUDICIAL DIVISION
Your Worship ma, we are using this platform to appeal to your office for extending the provision of library to Bwari Judicial Division to enable substantial number of our members practicing in Bwari Judicial Division particularly our young lawyers have access to library. The recent increase in numbers of lawyers and library users has outgrown the facilities provided for lawyers both at High Court in Maitama and Wuse Zone 2 of the Magistrates courts. My administration is ready to galvanize support of the senior members of the bar and other relevant stakeholders in achieving this. Be that as it may, we charge Your Worship to ensure there is a functional lawyer’s lodge, toilets accessible to lawyers in Bwari Judicial Division.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE LAWYERS AND COURTS IN BWARI JUDICIAL DIVISION
Your Worship, ma, our administration is committed to improve on the relationship of the bar and the bench. To this end, we hold very firmly the principle of consultation as the better strategy in achieving our common objectives. While this administration will not indulge members disrespect to court, we shall equally ensure there is mutual respect between the Bar and Bench. Having said this, I will implore your office to work on some of the complaints of our members on the attitude of the following judges in Bwari Judicial Division.
- In Kubwa Magistrate courts, lawyers are compelled to buy files in spite of having made payment for filing their cases at the bank. It was reported that one Magistrate, sitting at Court 3 Dutse is very hard on lawyers and occasionally sits very late. A Senior Magistrate in Bwari Magistrate court sits late at every sitting.
- Members observed that cases should be given to the senior magistrate at Kubwa for assignment as this will be more cost effective. It is noted that assignment of cases in Dutse is usually delayed. It takes a week or two week or more before cases are assigned.
- It was widely reported that registrars demand for money before the issuance of hearing notice in the jurisdiction.
RECOMMENDATION AND CONCLUSION
Concluding this on a high note, our branch is calling for a ROUNDTABLE TALK between the magistrates, and court registrars as soon as practicable to brainstorm on various issues concerning courts’ administration at the lower bench and to ensure how to improve on the relationship between bar and bench. I believe ROLAC will be of great assistance to us whenever we are ready.
We appreciate your patience, your doggedness and your warmth reception receiving us at the behest of your very tight scheduled. Before we draw the curtains, we thank you for acceding to our request at the legal year by your timely response ensuring cases pending at the late magistrate, Kutigi Court.
Clement Chukwuemeka Esq
Steps To Subscribe To the Court of Appeal Reports Nigeria
Win your Court cases today, Get Affordable Supreme Court Law Reports >> CLICK HERE
BESTSELLER: Get A-Z of contemporary laws of ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE in Nigeria By Alaba Omolaye-Ajileye. To ORDER, sms or call : +2347063666998, +2348159307051 or email email@example.com
Supreme Court Judgments on Lands (1907-2013) and Nigerian Company Law Cases (1945-2016) are going for 120k per set.The Reports contain valuable and uncommon locus classicus for Legal research, opinion, and advocacy. Grab your copy now!!! Call 09091130714 or 07084004038