Lawyer Advocates Overhaul of Judiciary to address Post-COVID-19 Cases

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Convener of the Fight Against Corruption in the Judiciary (FIACIJ), Mr Bayo Akinlade, has advocated an overhaul of the Judiciary to address post-COVID-19 cases.

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Akinlade made the recommendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Thursday.

He underscored the need for all relevant stakeholders in the Justice sector to join hands in rebuilding a legal system that would reflect the judiciary as truly the last hope of the common man.

While noting that businesses had remained locked down since the pandemic, he urged the justice sector to take proactive steps to sharpen its legal system that would address cases that might arise after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With new cases of those tested positive to COVID-19 reported every day, fear now grips both the rich and the poor alike.

“Most small scale businesses have already become comatose, while others struggle for survival. Employers on their part, already worried about paying back loans they took to start up the business.

“In all of these, the Judiciary which is the last hope of the common man must brace up to the challenge and map out strategies for enhancing the legal system post-COVID-19.

“The justice system is an integral part of political, social and economic stability and so, the judiciary must live up to expectations,’’ he said.

According to him, the recent calls for reform within the judiciary by various stakeholders cannot be ignored any longer.

Akinlade said: “The judiciary officers took an oath to serve the citizens without fear or favour and so, must strive to live up to the expectations of the people.

“Even as we consider these, we must also turn the searchlight on ourselves as lawyers.

“The death of Chief Richard Akinjide, SAN, is a rude awakening for all. Chief represented some of the heroes of the profession and the nation as a whole.

“The current judiciary infrastructure was designed by his generation but there are currently over four generations of lawyers since the time of late Chief Akinjide, who must follow his legacy.’’

He noted that the judiciary must also strive to move from the current analogue system to a computer-based system of dispensation of Justice.

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