President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the slow pace of trials in the courts. He was represented by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, who spoke at the opening session of the virtual general conference of the Nigerian Bar Association which coincides with the body’s 60th anniversary.
The President referred to his experience at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunals in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2019. He said until recently, court trials had been “terribly slow”. He stated that it took me two and a half years from 2003 to challenge the 2003 election in the now-famous case of Buhari vs Obasanjo.
Again “In 2007, He was in court for 20 months. And in 2011, he spent another 8 months in court. In the end, he lost all three cases. His status later improved in 2019, where he became the first respondent in the case of Atiku and Buhari, spending about 6 months in court.
President Buhari also seeks reforms over what he called the multiple and sometimes conflicting orders of courts, saying his party’s recent internal crisis led to at least 10 conflicting rulings of the courts across the country. There is also the need to fully adopt technology in the judiciary. Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwoolu urged the NBA, to show real leadership and drive the country well.
The event was originally slated to be hosted in Rivers stated but had to be modified, in compliance with the COVID 19 preventive protocols.
The majority of the more than 20000 lawyers and keynote speakers joined virtually nationwide for the very first time.
At least 100000 Nigerians are lawyers, they were urged to use their numbers to influence nation-building.