Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Tanko Muhammad yesterday expressed sadness over the delay being experienced in justice delivery.

“The delay in our justice delivery system has been a source of great concern to me as it must be to you all.

“This unacceptable situation inevitably dictates the need for a thorough and comprehensive reform of our justice sector to ensure access to justice at affordable costs and within a reasonable time,” Justice Muhammad said.

Given the constitutional role of the judiciary, Justice Muhammad noted that it is important that citizens enjoy easy access to courts as this will help them ventilate their grievances and their cases adjudicated upon.

The CJN stated this at the virtual opening ceremony of 2020 All Nigeria Judges’ Conference of Lower Courts, in Abuja.

In her welcome address, the Administrator, National Judicial Institute, NJI, Justice Rosaline Bozimo (rtd) said the biennial event has always been a stock-taking one for judges of lower courts from all over the country.

“It also provides a platform to strategize on the means of adopting global best practices to meet critical challenges in the dispensation of justice to all.

Justice Bozimo said lower courts remain an ever-present and enduring necessity to all Nigerians, and therefore, “it cannot be overemphasized that the need for a forum such as this is necessary to propel you to perform optimally. As we are all aware, justice is the foundation of the rule of law.

“The judiciary as the third arm of government has a very important role to play in the enthronement of the rule of law; even to the people at the grassroots.

“It is the duty of the judiciary to administer justice according to the law to all and sundry; whether high or low, rich or poor, to public and private institutions, as well as to individuals or government without fear or favor, affection or ill will,” Bozimo stated.

This year’s theme is ‘The role of lower courts in promoting justice and good governance in Nigeria.’