House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary said yesterday that the budgetary allocation of N110 billion to the federal judiciary is grossly inadequate for the proper dispensation of justice.
It also said that there is an urgent need to implement the electronic filing of court processes and automation of the courts, just as it lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for the appointment of additional eight justices of the Supreme Court.
Chairman of the committee, Onofioke Luke made the observations during the budget defence session with the National Judicial Council, NJC, Supreme Court and other lower courts.
“It is worrisome to note that the 2021 budget estimate for the judiciary is N110 billion, this is inadequate in view of the current realities. The committee will engage the leadership of the House and indeed the National Assembly for more funds for the judiciary to address the observed and obvious challenges for expedited and efficient dispensation of justice. The destruction of court by hoodlums that hijacked the #EndSARS protest has once again brought to the fore the exigency of automating our court system right from the filing process to judgement delivery.
“The incident has led to the loss of some vital court documents which will stall several lawsuits and trials.
“There is an urgent need to implement electronic filing of court processes, electronic recording and transcription of court proceedings and electronic collection of judgment and having a central server that backs up court processes and documents and synchronises data across all remote locations.
“This will expedite justice delivery and forestall loss of court documents. The committee wishes to commend the president for the appointment of eight justices of the Supreme Court, thereby raising the number of justices to 20 which will help in fast-tracking administration and the delivery of justice.
“The background and wealth of experience of the appointed justices is also commended while we appeal to the president to see the need to immediately fill the vacant positions in the Court of Appeal,” Luke said.