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Acting CJN orders inspection of Sharia courts, others

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Justice Tanko Muhammad, the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, has ordered the inspection of all Sharia, Area and Customary courts in the country, to ascertain the condition of facilities in the courts.

Muhammad, who said the surprise inspections would also help keep judges of the courts on their toes, gave the directive in a keynote address he presented at the opening of the 2019 National Workshop for Directors and Inspectors of Area, Sharia and Customary Courts, held at the National Judicial Institute, NJI, in Abuja, on Monday.

According to the Justice Muhammad, the workshop, with the theme, “Improving the Quality of Justice Delivery in the Lower Courts,” would avail participants the platform to discuss ways of developing a standardised and efficient system of administration of justice at the lower courts.

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He said: “It is a well-known fact that the Area/Sharia/Customary courts adjudicate over a large number of cases in Nigeria, as they are bereft of technicalities and easily accessible to the grassroots.

“This further emphasises the importance of your duties in the administration of justice. In modern day Nigeria, virtually all the states of the federation have established Area/Sharia/Customary courts within their legal systems, styled in different ways, accommodating the roles of directors and inspectors.

“However, in improving the quality of justice delivery as the theme implies, we are not unmindful of the challenges which you face in the daily discharge of your duties. These challenges, which include inadequate funding, man-power development and inadequate facilities amongst many others must not deter you in the utmost performance of your duties.

“Consequently, directors and inspectors of these courts must be up and doing, as you are expected to pay regular visits to the courts in order to inspect the personnel and the facilities therein.

“Certainly, these visits which I recommend should be mostly unannounced will assist in keeping the Judges of these courts on their toes.”

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