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Stop misusing ex parte order - Akpabio tells judges
By: Abara Blessing Oluchi
Thu, 25 Apr 2024   ||   Nigeria,

President of the Senate, Godswil Akpabio has urged judges in the country to stop ''misusing'' ex parte orders, especially in political cases.

He stated that there should be punishment for erring judges involved in the abuse.

In his speech titled “Repositioning the Justice System, Constitutional, Statutory and Operational Reforms for Access and Efficiency” at the National Summit on Justice in Abuja on Wednesday, April 24, Akpabio noted that it is imperative for the National Judicial Council (NJC) to exercise stringent oversight to curb the misuse of ex parte order.

He said; “We recommend prompt and decisive punishment for erring judges who are found to be involved in this abuse. We further propose that the NJC establish clear and detailed standards governing the issuance of ex parte orders, accompanied by a defined set of sanctions for violations. These sanctions should be severe enough to deter people from future abuses.

“We recommend that the NJC should conduct regular audits and reviews of ex-parte orders issued by judges to ensure compliance with established standards.

“As was done in the criminal jurisprudence during the enactment of Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, we propose that all appeals in civil cases should be taken only after the conclusion of the substantive case.

“This change will accelerate judicial processes, reduce backlog, and ensure that litigations are not unduly prolonged by intermediate appeals.

“Another area requiring urgent reform is the process of obtaining the Attorney General’s consent before executing judgments. This requirement often acts as a bottleneck, delaying justice and undermining the autonomy of our judicial system. We propose modifying this requirement to facilitate a swifter execution of judgments, thereby enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of our justice system.”

Akpabio also said that such reforms will foster trust in the justice system and improve the overall efficiency of legal proceedings involving the government.

He added; “This integration will not only fortify our constitution and electoral framework but will also ensure that justice both in letter and in spirit becomes more attainable for every Nigerian.

“The national Assembly is not unaware of the delays and backlogs plaguing the courts, adding that the issues make justice to be seen as inaccessible and inefficient.”


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