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Judiciary must be free from undue influence – Kano CJ

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Judiciary must be free from undue influence – Kano CJ

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Kano Chief Judge, Justice Dije Abdu Aboki, says for justice to be truly impartial, the judiciary must be free from undue influence and interference from other arms of government.

Justice Aboki stated this in her speech during the opening ceremony of the 2024 NBA-SLP annual conference holding in Kano with the theme: Administration of Justice in Nigeria: Challenges and reforms.

According to her, “The administration of justice in Nigeria faces numerous challenges that demand our immediate attention. On the part of the Judiciary, one of the foremost challenges is the issue of judicial independence. For justice to be truly impartial, the judiciary must be free from undue influence and interference from other arms of government.

“This independence is not for the benefit of the judiciary alone but is the bedrock of fair and equitable justice delivery to the citizens we serve. We must continuously strive to promote the achievement of this independence to maintain the integrity of our judicial system.

“The NBA as a pressure group is not meant only to advocate for the interest of lawyers but also to serve as a mouth piece for the Judiciary, thus more should be done in advocating for Judicial independence and autonomy.”

The Kano CJ added that aside from judicial independence, another pressing challenge is the chronic backlog of cases in courts and therefore, contemporary development must be out in place to address the issue.

She added, “The saying ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ rings true in this context. To address this, we must adopt innovative solutions, such as alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and the increased use of technology to streamline court processes and reduce delays. Delays, especially in criminal trials are of particular concern, and frustrates the purpose of the creation of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act.

“To effectively improve administration of justice on the part of the Judiciary, we must implement efficient case management systems and support staff to assist judges in managing their caseloads effectively, provide judges with access to comprehensive legal databases, research tools, and continuous legal education programs to keep them updated on legal developments. Additionally, we must foster a culture of accountability within the Judiciary.”

Declaring the event open, Kano State Governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Abdullahi Baffa Bichi, urged the judiciary to uphold the rule of law to maintain the confidence and trust of the society and the international communities.

He added that the state “believes in the power of reform and the efficient justice system.”

President of the Nigeria Bar Association, Yakubu Chonoko Maiyaki, commended Kano State for being at the forefront in the implementation of the Administration of Justice Law (ACJL) despite the challenges.

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