In a comprehensive interview, Olawale Fapohunda, SAN, former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice of Ekiti State, addresses critical issues plaguing the Nigerian justice sector.
Fapohunda emphasizes the urgent need for reforms in the judiciary, police, and correctional services. He deplores the slow pace of reforms in the judiciary but insists that the desired reforms will not be achieved by weaponizing the media to hurl insults at the judiciary and judicial officers.
According to him, the campaign for review of judicial remuneration goes hand in hand with the campaign for reform of judicial appointments and better case management, especially in the Supreme Court.
Fapohunda argues that the Chief Justice of Nigeria should play a more hands-on role in justice sector reforms. The learned silk also shares his thoughts about needed reforms in the police and correctional services, arguing that the recent review of the enabling laws of both institutions has not led to the desired reforms, either in policing or the treatment of offenders.
The former Attorney-General of Ekiti State expressed concern about the 2024 budgetary allocation to justice sector institutions, stating that this is evidence that the Tinubu administration intends to maintain the justice sector in its current form. In his words, if this was the intention, “it would be genuinely depressing.”.
Fapohunda calls for better coordination among justice sector institutions. Insisting that the limited progress in the sector results from a lack of coordination and leadership. He advocates for a National Council on Administration of Justice, chaired by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, with membership from government and non-government justice sector stakeholders, to provide coordination and oversee the implementation of reforms in the justice sector.
USE THE LINK TO READ THE COMPREHENSIVE INTERVIEW FROM THE LEARNED SILK.
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