The President of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Justice Babatunde Adejumo has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to approve the appointment of more judges for all the courts in the country.
Justice Adeyemo made the call in Abuja, at the inauguration of the annex building of the headquarters of the court.
He said doing so would give room for speedy dispensation of justice, as many cases are pending before the over one thousand judges in Nigeria.
He said: “As we speak, we have 1200 Justices and Judges all over the country, starting from the Supreme court to the trial courts and this is why people believe strongly that there is justice delay in the courts.
“This is never the fault of the Judges. Some of our Judges are dying because they are being overworked. Some of them when they retire, they don’t enjoy their retirement because they have been overworked. If a Judge has 1000, 500 or 250 cases before him, the best any Judge can do is to treat about 80-100 cases in a year and that Judge is extra-ordinarily hardworking.
“The issue of delay will never stop, from my experience of about 25 years, except, with due respect Sir, (referring to the President) the Judiciary is allowed to double its strength. Sir approval should be given to the Chief Justice of Nigeria to appoint more judges across board, so that justice can be delivered without delay, for ‘justice delayed is justice denied.”
Furthermore, the outgoing President of the National Industrial Court requested that more infrastructure be provided for the judiciary, to further enhance efficiency in that sector.
“If more Judges are to be appointed then infrastructure have to be made available; courtroom, chambers, houses, cars, etc, this is why I have humbly said that the judiciary should be considered when it comes to funding and the National Assembly should also cooperate,” he said.
Justice Adeyemo lamented that the Industrial Court currently has 33 judges with over 10,000 cases pending before it.
Also speaking, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Mohammed said the inauguration of the building was historic because it now affords a condusive working environment for those working there.
Justice Mohammed thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for making funds available for the Judiciary. He however appealed for more.
The occasion was attended by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Ministers of Justice and the Federal Capital Territory as well as the Chairman of Senate committee on judiciary, Senator Okpeyemi Bamidele.
Shortly after inaugurating the building, President Buhari was conducted round the facility by Justice Adejumo.