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The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has called for an urgent reform of the justice system in the country, saying it was worried that public confidence in the judiciary remained at very low levels.

The legal body, in a communique it issued to mark the end of its 63rd Annual General Conference, AGC, further demanded an upward review of the remuneration of judges across the federation.


It recommended that issues involving the remuneration of judicial officers should not only be separated from the public sector, but also removed from the purview of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC.

“Conference also recommended an independent salary scale for judicial officers. Conference recommends that urgent attention be paid to the plight of magistrates and other lower court judges,” the NBA stated in the communique that was read to newsmen yesterday by its National President, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau, SAN.

NBA, which is the umbrella body of legal practitioners in the country, said it was noted during the conference, “that every aspect of the infrastructure of our justice system requires fundamental rethinking including our approaches to policing, adjudication, bail, sentencing and imprisonment.”

It said: “There was also a call for adherence to judicial decisions, adoption, and integration of technological advancements for the judiciary, and fostering improved relationships between the different branches of government.

“Achieving the desired justice system will be a process, not an event. Nevertheless, change must be accelerated to keep up with the expectations of Nigerians, particularly those of the poorest and most vulnerable communities. Such change must be properly planned and carefully managed.

“The importance of a strong, independent judiciary was emphasized.”

On economy, the NBA said it observed that Nigeria’s economic potential has been constrained by many structural issues, including inadequate infrastructure, tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade, fundamental obstacles to investment, uncertain government policies and reluctance of previous governments to take the necessary bold steps required to achieve sustained economic growth.

The legal body said it was disappointed over Nigeria’s paradoxical situation of having natural resources that are not adequately utilised for industrial development.

“Despite substantial gas reserves the nation is still unable to explore gas to achieve adequate electricity generation.

“Conference recognized Nigeria’s potential in terms of mineral wealth and human resources, emphasizing the enormous opportunities available. However, challenges like power shortages, oil theft, kidnapping, insecurity, and divisions among citizens have prompted the need for robust, long-term economic decisions to revive the economy.

“Conference resolved that sustained broad based economic growth and poverty reduction are critical to Nigeria’s economic growth and stability.

“Specifically Conference called on the Federal & State Governments to refocus efforts on infrastructure development, improve power generation, improve agricultural productivity, and expand jobs in rural areas.

“There should also be greater attention on youth employment through education and entrepreneurship skills training.”

The NBA, while lamenting the rising spate of insecurity in the country, identified the need for greater investment in the Military.

“Conference recommended practical strategies to address security concerns. These include community involvement in policing, youth engagement through job creation, enhanced regional cooperation, media sensitization, comprehensive police reforms, religious school regulation, strengthening the judiciary, and observance of human rights.

“The adoption of state security forces, proper land management, international resource acquisition, and meticulous implementation of approved plans were also suggested,” the communique further read.

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