CJN Ariwoola Assures Magistrates, Lower Court Judges Of Improved Welfare Packages


Briga News Nigeria

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, on Monday assured magistrates and judges of the lower courts of ongoing efforts at improving their welfare packages.

Ariwoola, who gave the assurance at the opening ceremony of the 2024 Hybrid Refresher Course for Magistrates and Judges of the Lower Courts in Abuja, commended the judges for their efforts at justice delivery, particularly at the grassroots.

“My Lords, distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen, while I am not unmindful of the challenges faced by the magistrates and the judges of the lower courts, I wish to seize this opportunity to offer assurances that proactive steps are being taken to ameliorate these difficulties and to improve the overall welfare of the judicial officers and staff of these courts since this invariably has an impact on the quality and pace of their service delivery,” he said.

The CJN explained that the term ‘lower courts’, which is often used in reference to the Magistracy, the Area Courts, the Customary Courts, as well as the Sharia Courts, is not in any way indicative of their relevance or their role in the judiciary.

“Rather, this appellation is often used in light of the fact that these courts are the proximate and ultimate courts that are readily accessible to citizens at the grassroots. This strategic positioning invariably gives the lower courts a most crucial and all-important role in the justice system, one that cannot be underestimated.

“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 quick, efficient, non-technical and less costly approaches to justice are concerns which the judicial officers who man these courts have to contend with on a daily basis.

“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.

He therefore urged the participants to commit themselves to attending all the sessions, participate actively and contribute meaningfully during discussions.

He also commended the tireless efforts of the Administrator of the National Judicial Institute (NJI), Justice Salisu Garba Abdullahi, and his team in ensuring the organization of this course, as well as other programmes of the Institute.

Earlier, Justice Abdullahi in a welcome, disclosed that the programme was organized to provide participants with an invaluable opportunity to interact, share vital experiences, cross-fertilize ideas and to come up with new strategies and solutions necessary for enhancing the quality of judicial services at the lower courts.

He said that the theme of this year’s conference, ‘Repositioning the Lower Courts for Quick Dispensation of Justice’, seeks to draw the attention of participants to key aspects and areas of substantive and procedural law, that will enable them discharge their duties more effectively and efficiently.

He therefore urged participants to “take full advantage of all that will be shared in the course of this engagement”.



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