*Go and learn reforms from Kenya
President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Assistant to the President on Prosecution, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, has described Nigeria’s justice system as mired in corruption, just as it lamented that those seeking for justice must be willing to pay through their noses.
In a statement he signed Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, the presidential aide described as regrettable a case he filed at the Supreme Court 10 years ago, but was yet to be assigned a date for hearing due to the virus of corruption plaguing the system.
According to him, “to obtain a court ruling you must pay through your nose; to obtain a certified true copy of judgment you must pay through your nose; to cause a court bailiff to serve a court process you must pay through your nose.”
“To get a case to be assigned after filing you must pay through your nose. Even in the Supreme Court to get an appeal to be assigned for hearing you must pay through your nose.”
Lamenting on how lawyers and litigants “pay through their noses” to have cases assigned or court papers served, the presidential aide wondered why Nigeria’s justice system was averse to reforms for improved efficiency.
“Why is the judicial system in Nigeria adverse to change? Look at Kenya and how it has reformed its own system!
“See how effective and efficient the judiciary is in Kenya. See how audacious, bold, courageous and fearless judges in Kenya are.
“See how an election petition was heard within dispatch just three weeks after it was filed. See how lawyers work together with the bench to deliver a landmark judgment.
“In Nigeria, lawyers would devise all manners of legal manoeuvrings steeped in crass legal technicalities to frustrate justice. The judgment would be leaked several weeks before delivery,” the statement said.
Slamming the appellate courts of being chaotic due to their refusal to adopt technology despite increased funding, the aide said, “Before I was given an appointment while in law practice, I have appeals I have filed in the Court of Appeal for the past six years but till now have not been heard. I also have several appeals I filed in the Supreme Court since 2007 till now no date have been given for hearing of these appeals.
“The registries in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court respectively are a study in chaos, disorderliness and confusion. They have refused to embrace Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to organise their registry in line with international best practices.”