HiiL Launch of Justice Needs and Satisfaction (JNS) Nigeria 2023: NBA President gives feedback and speaks on Justice

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At the event it was said that the JNS Nigeria 2023 report would shed light on the state of people-Centre’s Justice in Nigeria. The report is an essential tool for understanding the needs of the population, identifying areas that require improvement, and monitoring the progress of various justice initiatives. The event brought together stakeholders from various sectors to wit government representatives, judiciary members, civil society organizations, innovators and media houses.

The NBA was represented by the President, Y. C Maikyau, OON, SAN who in giving his feedback at the HiiL launch of Justice Needs and Satisfacion (JNS) Nigeria holding at the Abuja Continental Hotel (Sheraton) thanked Prof Nnamdi Obiaeri, the last speaker for correcting the impression that could have been drawn from the previous speaker that Nigeria does not have a working Justice system. Mr Maikyau said Nigeria has a constitution and laws enacted pursuant to the constitution. What is more important is the thought behind the need for Justice. Justice is important for our existence as a nation. Mr Maikyau quoted Uthman Dan Fodio when he said “A people can exist without religion but a people cannot exit with Justice”.

He commended the exercise of Hiil for going to the people to check their peculiar need and how they access Justice. In highlighting his points on the essence of Justice and our call, he appreciated the Legal Aid Council for recognizing Prof Chief Chimezie Ikeazor, SAN for naming the legal aid Council headquarters building after him in recognition of his contributions towards the establishment of the legal Aid Council. He stated that before now lawyers did not collect fees for the services they rendered and that was what Prof Chimezie represented to the public. The motivation is usually the call for Justice.

Mr Maikyau SAN recounted how a prisoner who escaped during Kuje Jail break called the legal officer who represented him in court to inform him that he was out of jail and needed the legal aid officer to come take him back to the prison. This according to him, showed the comfort the convict had around his lawyer which was commendable. Mr Maikyau called on HiiL to partner with the NBA on the Justice sector, particularly with the NBA Judiciary Committee to fashion out ways to project the Justice sector. He further suggested that HiiL looks into the Justice sector report of the NBA Judiciary committee which held in January 2022.

The President said the NBA would establish a Pro bono Centre in the NBA. He clarified his statement on NBA offering pro bono service to INEC and said some members of the public misinterpreted him at some point. He noted that, “absent the institutions that deliver Justice, we would not have a Country, that when anarchy comes, we would not recognize personalities and dignitaries here today.”

Mrs Ijeoma Nwafor, who anchored the event spoke on behalf of HiiL in accepting the President’s offer of partnership and appreciated the NBA’s stance on the Justice system.

The NBA President attended the event with the 2nd Vice President of the Association, Mr Chukwuemeka Clement Ugo, Chairmen of branches of NBA in Abuja and other members of the bar.

The President speaking with media correspondents was asked why cases take long to be concluded in Courts, the President said no doubt the Courts are inundated with cases but there was need for constitutional amendments to reduce matters that travel to Supreme Court and he proposed the Electoral matters should be assigned to a special court created for that purpose to avoid suituation where regular matters will suffer because of election related matter which are time sensitive. More so, the salaries and emoluments of judges should be increased adequately. These amongst others would reduce the delays experienced in our court system.

HIIL is The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law.

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