Kutigi, Uwais, Belgore on 28-man judiciary reforms panel

Uwais Uwais

Oct 15, 2011 – To resolve the crises rocking the judiciary, the Chief Justice of Nigeria Dahiru Musdapher has raised a 28-member stakeholders committee.
A statement by the National Judicial Council (NJC) Secretary, Danladi Halilu, said the committee was inauguarated after a meeting held yesterday in Abuja.

The high-powered committee, made up of former CJNs, former Presidents of the Court of Appeal, retired justices of the Supreme Court, retired and serving judges of the high court as well as senior members of the bar, is headed by the former CJN, Muhammad Uwais.
Justice Musdapher had on September 19, at the Special Court session to commemorate this year’s legal year promised to carry out reforms in the judiciary to addresas his inherited challenges.

 One of such is the restructuring and repositioning of the NJC, Federal Judicial Service Commission and the National Judicial Institute (NJI).
The committee is to recommend measures to address the quality and timeliness of the trial process, procedural inefficiencies, poor infrastructure, as well as poor conditions of service for judicial and non–judicial officers.

It is also to suggest ways to tackle the “declining intellectual quality and reasoning content of delivered judgments, corruption, as well as the effects of an unrestrained quest for political power which have served to disrupt the efficiency of the judiciary and damaged its perception by the public”, the statement said.

Members of the committee include former CJNs; S.M.A. Belgore, Idris L. Kutigi and A.I. Katsina-Alu, Mamman  Nasir (former PCA), A.G. Karibi-Whyte, Mustapha Akanbi, Umaru Abdullahi (former PCA), Kayode Eso (Rtd. JSC),  Umaru A. Kalgo (Rtd. JSC) Rose N. Ukeje (Former CJ, Federal High Court).

Others are Justice R.P.I. Bozimo, (Former Chief Judge, Delta State), Justice Lawal Hassan Gummi (Chief Judge, FCT), Joseph Daudu, SAN, (NBA President), Chief Richard O.Akinjide SAN (Former A-GF), Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim, SAN, (Former A-GF),  Dr. A.G.F. AbdulRazak, (SAN) and Anthony O. Mogboh, SAN.

It also includes former NBA Presidents; T.J.O. Okpoko, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), O.C.J. Okocha (SAN) Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), Oluwarotimi O. Akeredolu (SAN) and Prince Lanke Odogiyan, Esq.

Other members are Hajiya Hairat Balogun, Prof. Epiphany Azinge, SAN, (Director-General, NIALS), Dr. Mamman Tahir (Director-General, Nigerian Law School) and Mr. A.B. Mahmud, (SAN).

The other areas of the reform initiatives by the CJN will include constitutional review of all Superior Courts of Records as well as the lower courts. Justice Musdapher at the meeting reiterated that the purpose of the reforms is to set out the Judiciary on a path of renewal so as to restore the integrity and dignity of the Judiciary to its pristine status.
 The committee has five weeks to submit its recommendations.(The Nation)