The appointment of judges has been a thorny issue in recent times. In this article by MR. IBRAHIM LAWAL, he asserts that the Oyo State Judicial Service Commission has shown tardiness in the appointment of judges, arguing that this has occasioned hardship for lawyers and justice delivery in the state
APPOINTMENT OF NEW JUDGES IN OYO STATE: NEED TO BE PROACTIVE.
There is no denying the fact that Oyo State Judiciary does not have full complement of Judges to man her various courts spread across the state. The shortage in the number of Judges had negative impact on the turnout of numbers of cases heard and decided in a given year.
Despite the shortage, many of our Judges are retiring this year and next year, thereby compounding the problems being faced by lawyers and litigants alike. I know of a judge who is due for retirement in the next couple of months and thereby decided not to open new cases.
The process of appointment of new Judges should commence before the due date for those retiring. Admirably, the Supreme Court is already out with a notice of appointment of new Supreme Court Justices to fill the vacancies of not only those that had retired or dead but also those who are going to retire in some months to come.
In Oyo State, the process of appointment of new Judges started with the submission of application by those interested since last August. It has been motion without movement since then. Ekiti State started their own process after that of Oyo State and those Judges have been sworn in by the Governor.
Recall that it was this tardiness in the appointment of Judges that led to several deaths of some of our finest hands before the last crop of Judges were appointed. I thought that coming from such horrible experience, Oyo State should have learnt her lessons and handle the issues of Judges appointment with utmost dispatch.
The Judicial Service Commission should be alive to its responsibility by ensuring that the process is fast tracked and ensure that we have enough Judges to man our courts. The JSC should as a matter of duty cooperate with the Chief Judge to ensure the process is done without a hitch.
We cannot continue to say the same thing all the time. This is the time for every stakeholder in the Justice administration to wake up and do the needful.
- Ibrahim Lawal is the Head of Chamber, Olujinmi & Akeredolu of the Law Hub 9 Ring Road, opposite Iyaganku GRA Roundabout, Ibadan.
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