Worried by the increasing state of court congestion in the state, Oyo state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi has said effort is on the way to ensure the passage of required laws to establish the Oyo state Multi Door court house as an alternative dispute resolution for easy access to Justice.
The governor made the disclosure at the High Court, Ringroad Ibadan while on a courtesy call to the office of the State Chief Judge, Muntar Abimbola.
The governor also used the opportunity of the visit to tour the court premises and also inspect various projects undertaken by the State Judicial arm of government.
While speaking on the visit, the governor said he had mandated the Attorney General of the state to ensure the passage of the law to establish the Oyo state Multi Door court house as an alternative dispute resolution for easier access to Justice adding that the establishment of the multi-door court house would not only help provide quicker access to justice but will also decongest the court dockets.
The governor stated that he has also assented to the new Administration of Criminal Justice Law which he stated was now being mass produced for circulation.
“For this reason, I have directed the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice to work in collaboration with the Chief Judge to design a process and structure that ensures that the issue of court congestion is finally laid to rest. I have observed the continuing congestion of our courts in spite of various efforts at decongesting same.
“Similarly I have assented to the Community Service Law to ensure alternative sentencing regime is available in Oyo state for criminal offenders in minor cases.”
He expressed optimism that the efforts would complement judiciary’s diligent pursuit of speedy dispensation of justice in the state while calling for a review of series of injunctions which he said has bedevilled the judicial arm.
Ajimobi said that the state judiciary has been a reference point in the evolution of administration of justice in Nigeria.
He added that the judiciary was not just the third arm of government as constitutionally provided in our constitution but a veritable partner in our quest to build a new and modern Oyo state.
“We expect the judiciary in its administration of justice to continue to observe the time tested maxim in its
pronouncements. Injunctions and restraining orders, particularly when made exparte to restrain constitutional and statutory powers of government will therefore appear to contradict this principle.
“Government does not exercise its powers arbitrarily, but in line with its executive powers as circumscribed in our constitution and laws. I trust the judiciary will continue to observe this in our
application of judicial pronouncements to the various matters before you.’’
“Our current generation of Jurists in Oyo state are no less distinguished than their forebears who blazed the trail in their time. Over the last six years of this administration, we have ensured that
our judiciary ranks not just high, but first among equals in the administration of justice index.
“Since 2011, our budgetary support to the judiciary has increased by over 400 percent with several intervention efforts by this administration to support your infrastructural development. The effort would also ease operational constraints and improve the welfare of Judges and Magistrates’’, the governor said.
The governor expressed hope that their modest efforts would be reciprocated with the judiciary improving the turn around time for concluding cases, especially criminal cases.
He commend the Chief Judge for his leadership and judicious use of
resources to create new channels of speedy administration of justice
by establishing the customary appeal courts.
Ajimobi assured the judiciary of his administration’s support for the various initiatives being introduced to build a more responsive and robust justice sector, able to meet the demands and challenges of contemporary times.
Earlier in his remarks, Abimbola expressed appreciation to the Ajimobi led administration for providing a conducive atmosphere for the administration of Justice in the state.
He called for the gazetting of the newly accent law on the administration of criminal Justice, which he noted would accelerate the judicial process in the state.
Abimbola also called for the repositioning of the judicial service commission through the provision of vehicles, sitting allowances and other logistics to enhance their performance.
Some of the ongoing projects the governor was conducted round include works at the State High Court, Magistrate Court, Customary Court of Appeal, Family and Juvenile Court all in Ibadan.