A National Policy on Justice aimed at correcting decays such as delays, lack of public confidence in justice delivery system and access to court among others noticeable challenges militating against justice delivery was on Thursday adopted for the country at a National Submit in Abuja.
The 34 pages Policy document also provides a blueprint which outlines the various reforms desirable in the justice sector to engender smooth, fair, just and transparent administration of justice in the country.
Addressing stakeholders at the submit the Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN), said that the policy also provides the needed professional guidance for all justice sector institutions in the discharge of their duties and attainment of an effective and efficient administration of justice.
Represented by the Solicitor General and permanent secretary federal ministry of justice, Taiwo Abidogun, the minister said that the policy has set out agreed principles and guidelines for effective and efficient service delivery.
” The policy provides the framework for resolving cross institutional problems developing and managing an all inclusive reforms as well as coordinate the implementation of reforms,” he stated.
The Special guest at the national submit on Justice and President of the Senate , Dr Bukola Saraki said that “justice is about keeping our people safe, tackling harm, rehabilitating ,supporting victims and administering the rule of law.”
Saraki who spoke through Senator David Umoru said that the national policy on justice was overdue because there a unanimous agreement that the administration of justice in Nigeria urgently craves for serious reform.
He said that an efficient justice delivery is central to the nation’s economic growth, development and the socio economic wellbeing of citizens.
According to Saraki, ” inventors will only put their money in a place where there is a functional judicial system and where every citizen is governed in equal measures by the rule of law.”
“It is my clear belief that in order to restore confidence amongst Nigerians in our justice system, judicial reforms need to be institutionalised and constantly reviewed to reflect the dynamics of the society”, he added.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen who was represented by Justice Mary Odili ssid that courts have responsibility to determine both criminal and civil cases.
He expressed hope that the policy will achieve its goal of ” building consensus among justice sector institutions for the purpose of addressing collectively the major challenges facing the justice delivery.”