15 May 2007

Nigeria: Lagos Sacks Judges, Magistrates for Corruption

THE Lagos State Government, through the state's Judicial Service Commission has terminated the appointment of three Judges and 22 magistrates in Lagos on account of corrupt practices, while several other judges and magistrates have been relieved of their duties in similar manner.

In another development, the state government has awarded a N10 million contract for the provision of ten solar energy projects to be sited in various parts of the state as part of efforts to increase power generation in the state.

The State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and his Science and Technology counterpart, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat made these known at a media briefing on the commemoration of 8th years of Governor Bola Tinubu's administration

According to Osibajo the measure was part of efforts at sanitising the entire judicial system in the state stressing that corruption is a matter of serious concern not just for the administration of justice but for governance as a whole.

He disclosed that over 30 High Court Judges and several Magistrates were appointed into the state judiciary in the last seven years, noting that a new policy introduced for the purpose entrenches merit as the principal consideration.

His words: "Also potential judges are identified not only from the ranks of State counsel and magistrates but also among other lawyers in various fields of endeavour.

"This has considerably enriched the state judiciary and changed the overall culture of judicial appointment for the better ", the Commissioner said.

In order to prevent abuses of court rules and delays in trials, the commissioner said a lot of measures were introduced among which were strict mandatory time frames, effective case management system, use of registrars in the handling of administrative or non-contentious pre-trial issues and cost of at least N1,000 against a party at whose instance an adjournment is granted, N500 of which should go to an administrative of justice fund.

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