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Lower courts’ closeness to grassroots strategic to justice delivery – Ariwoola

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, has said the closeness of lower courts to the grassroots is strategic to the country’s justice system.…

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, has said the closeness of lower courts to the grassroots is strategic to the country’s justice system.

Justice Ariwoola spoke on Monday during the opening of the hybrid refresher course for magistrates and judges of the lower courts at the National Judicial Institute (NJI) in Abuja.

He said the fact that the magistracy, area courts, the customary courts, and sharia courts are referred as “lower courts” is not in any way indicative of their relevance or their role in the judiciary but due to their accessibility to the people.

“Furthermore, being closer to the ordinary people, who are sometimes located in remote places, the anxieties and expectations of the users of these courts, especially as touching in quick, efficient, non-technical and less costly approaches to justice are concerns which the judicial officers who man these court have to contend with on a daily basis,” he said.

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“It is therefore imperative that in dealing or relating with users of their courts, magistrates and the judges of the lower courts must act with candour, integrity and within the confines of the law at all times in order to bolster trust and confidence in the justice system,” he said.

Speaking earlier, the Administrator of the NJI, Justice Salisu Garba Abdullahi, said the training provides participants with an invaluable opportunity to interact, share vital experiences, cross-fertilize ideas and come up with new strategies and solutions necessary for enhancing the quality of judicial services at the lower courts.

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