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IBADAN NBA CONDEMNS NJC APPOINTMENT OF JUDGES IN OYO

By NBF News

The Ibadan branch of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has condemned in strong terms the National Judiciary Council (NJC) recent appointment of only two judges for Oyo State judiciary, when there are at least 10 vacancies for such appointment in the state.

To the Ibadan branch, the appointment by the NJC was done without due consideration for the existing facts available on ground and fell short of the number of judges the state required.

According to the branch Chairman, Mr. Lukman Laoye, who addressed a press conference at the Aare Afe Babalola Bar Centre in Ibadan, Oyo State on Thursday 'the appointment of only two judges would not facilitate quicker dispensation of justice in the state.

Today, a judge in Oyo State has an average of over 350 cases on his desk to attend to this is outside new cases that are being filed daily. There is no way the efficiency and productivity of these judges will not be affected.' 'In Ibadan Judicial Division of the Oyo State Judiciary alone, over 1,400 cases are filed annually. We make bold to assert that no judicial division in the federation gets that volume of cases except Lagos and perhaps Abuja and Port Harcourt.

'Moreover, in the last few years, seven judges have retired while another two are on the verge of retirement, while there has not been any appointment in the state within the past two years, which has led to the high number of cases in court today. Oyo State, deserves to have all the vacancies arising from the retirement of these judges filled and as a matter of urgency too.'

Laoye further stressed that lawyers, judges and litigants were the ones bearing the burden of delay in the dispensation of justice arising from heavy workload of the few judges available in the state. He added: 'NBA owed it a duty to speak out especially when judges, by the nature of their duties, cannot openly complain about the workload they have to contend with.It should be observed that there is no dearth of qualified legal practitioners to be appointed as judges within and outside the Ibadan Bar. In fact, the Bar can boast of many eminently qualified lawyers who can hold their heads any day and any where in the world.'