BY OLUGBENGA SOYELE, Lagos
The chairman of House of Representatives’ Committee on Federal Judiciary, Hon. Aminu Shagari has described the state of the facilities of Federal High Court in Lagos as unacceptable and shameful.
Shagari, who led other members of the committee on an oversight visit to the court, however, vowed to ensure that the working environment of all judges and all judicial staffs in the state become conducive.
The lawmaker, while addressing journalists after the inspection said their visit will help the committee to understand the needs of the court so that they can provide appropriate funding to tackle them.
Shagari said, “What we have seen is unbecoming and it is unacceptable for a judge to be working in a cubicle, there is no wardrobe for them to change, no place for them to keep their books and file.
“Our visit here today will help us to understand what is going and enable us to make appropriation for these projects so that they can be quickly completed.
“This would make judges, judicial staffs and litigants more comfortable and justice can be dispense with as soon as possible”.
Shagari who commended Buhari led-administration for increasing the judiciary budget to N100 billion in the last two appropriations, said funding is one of the major reasons why the judiciary has not been functioning optimally in the past.
He said, “If you have been following the trend in the judiciary, budgets have been going down over the years while the federal budgets is going up every years, but luckily for us this Buhari administration has appropriated a N100 billion for this 2018 budget.
“It is getting better but we are still not where we ought to be, the infrastructure needed is huge, a lot of funding needs to be given to judiciary.
“But the good thing is that any amount given to the judiciary as budget is normally released hundred percent, so whatever is appropriated to them is given fully, unlike other sectors I don’t want to mention.
“We visited the residential quarters of the judges, and courtrooms where they are working, we have seen the edifice being built for them, the 20 courtrooms going on at Ikoyi.
“The court being built at ikoyi is a very nice project, there is parking space on the ground floor for judges and lawyers and subsequent floors are courtroom. It is a very beautiful project,” Shagari stated.
According to him, the House of Representative cannot do anything to the state who refused to make sure that things are working in their states, saying they can only advocates that they vote for such clauses so that each state will pass the law according to their own understanding.