The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, has urged the Attorneys General of the 36 states to ensure full implementation of financial autonomy for judiciary in their respective states.
Fagbemi made the call at the meeting of the Body of Attorneys General on Tuesday in Abuja.
“I urge my distinguished colleagues to ensure the full implementation of financial autonomy for the judiciary across our States as provided for under Section 121(3)and(4) of the Constitution.
“This is as a mark of our true and holistic commitment to the ideals of democracy and good governance.
“We should in this regard seek to robustly build the capacities of the judiciary, both in terms of personnel and infrastructure, particularly by investing in technologies that are necessary to automate vital aspects of our court operations and ultimately implement a digital justice delivery system”.
He noted that the need for improvements within the judicial and justice sector institutions and practices is non-negotiable.
“Access to justice goes to the very heart of what our mandate entails. So, we will in this regard critically look at the major policy documents that would lead us to this goal.
“One of the documents is the revised National Justice Policy, 2024-2028 which we hope would be considered and adopted at the National Summit on Justice.
“The ministry is making plans with relevant stakeholders to convene a National Summit on Justice, to among other things, engage all justice sector stakeholders to constructively look at how far we have gone in the implementation of the 2017-2022 policy document.
“We will in this regard seek to examine current challenges within justice sector institutions with the objective of supporting critical reforms, necessary to build a resilient justice system; facilitate adherence to rule of law, respect for fundamental human rights and ultimately, build public confidence in the entire justice sector”.
He said there is the over-riding need for close collaboration, cooperation and mutual understanding in the performance of the constitutional and statutory responsibilities by the Attorneys General.
“We collaboration both horizontally between the national and subnational entities and vertically by the three arms of government at all levels.
“We need to see how we can strengthen the entire justice sector particularly the administration of criminal justice sector, in order to meet the end goals of justice and the expectations of our citizens.
“This objective is very central and key to the realisation of our mandates as Chief Law Officers within the Nigerian Federation.
“As we all know, the effectiveness and functionality of the justice system has direct effect on the overall development, stability and sustainability of any society”.
Fagbemi said that it had become imperative for states of the federation to take maximum benefit of the constitutional alterations in developing their legal and policy frameworks legislative issues.
“In doing so, I enjoin the states to ensure proper structuring and delineation of their responsibilities by taking cognizance of the constitutional doctrine of covering the field, so as to minimize or avoid constitutional frictions”.
Source: News Agency of Nigeria