Home News Buhari Berates Slow Pace of Justice Administration, Proposes 12 Month-Limit

Buhari Berates Slow Pace of Justice Administration, Proposes 12 Month-Limit

by James Davies

President Muhammadu Buhari has berated the slow pace of justice administration by Nigerian courts.

Buhari who expressed his displeasure on Wednesday during the 60th Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) suggested that the judiciary considers putting a 12-month time limit for the hearing of criminal cases from the high court to the Supreme Court, while all civil cases should be concluded within 15 months.

Recalling the length of time it took for the court to decide and eventually dismissed the election petition filed by him after his loss at the presidential elections in 2003, 2007 and 2011, Buhari pointed the need for urgent reform in the country’s judicial system.

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His speech was read at the virtual conference by the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo.

 “At the end, I lost all three cases. I wondered then, why it needed to take so long to arrive at a verdict and if I had won the case, someone who did not legitimately win the election would have been in office all that time.

“In 2019, I was no longer petitioner; I had now become a respondent in the case of Atiku and Buhari and the whole process took barely six months; just over six months. What was the difference? The law had changed since my own in 2003, 2007 and 2011. You had now introduced time limits for election petitions. Everything must be done within a six to eight-month period. My question then is why can’t we have a time limit for criminal cases? Why can’t we have a rule that will say a criminal trial all the way to the Supreme Court must not exceed 12 months? And why can’t we do the same for civil cases? Even if we say that civil cases must not go beyond between 12 and 15 months. I think that for me is stepping forward,” Buhari said.

Further frowning at the rampant cases of conflicting court orders by Judges, Buhari who noted that the recent leadership crisis that rocked the ruling All Progressives Congress, had no fewer than eight conflicting court orders by different judges in a space of six weeks,  proposed a reform of the process of judges’ appointment.

He further recommended that aspiring judges should take tests.

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