Philip Njetene Advises Lagos Judiciary to take a Clue from NIC

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Philip Njeteneh

Immediate Past Treasurer of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Lagos Branch Mr. Philip Njeteneh has advised the Lagos State Judiciary to take a hint from the efficient justice delivery system of the National Industrial Court (NIC) in the administration of justice in Lagos High Court

In a message which he titled “BEFORE THE LEPROSY SPREADS TO NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL COURT” to celebrate the Lagos State Judiciary’s New Legal Year, Mr. Njeteneh juxtaposed his experience at the NICN with what is obtainable at the Lagos State High Court and noted that NIC has shown that it is not rocket science to have a corrupt free administration of justice.

Read his uncut narratives:

I had a matter filed at the National Industrial Court, Lagos on Sept. 20th 2017. Followed up October 5, 2017 only to learn that it has already been assigned and will be coming up on October 9, 2017 (today).

On getting this information on Thursday October 5, 2017 I did a letter to the Defendant notifying it of the date and court. While the Litigation Officer that went to serve our letter to the Defendant was still being expected back to the office, we were served with a Hearing Notice by the Bailiff of National Industrial Court that the matter will be coming up on Monday October 9, 2017.

On my way home on that same 06/10/17 at about 5pm I got an sms from the National Industrial Court notifying me of the date, name of Judge and court of the matter coming up on Monday.

For the Claimant to have received Hearing Notice is pointer that the Defendant has been served. Not leaving anything to chance I asked that the court file be checked for a proof of service of the Hearing Notice and Writ. Alas, no proof.

I rushed down to the Bailiff Section to enquire what was happening only to meet the Bailiff so assigned assure me that it will be sorted out. All these I did before 9am.

The court started sitting apologetically at 9.10am ending the apology with the information that today is the court’s very first sitting.

While the court was sitting and long before my matter was called the Bailiff came in with the proof of service of the Hearing Notice served last Friday. I later spoke with the defence counsel who confirmed that her client was served with a hearing notice on Friday apart from receiving the originating processes which goes to show the seriousness of the court towards dispensing corrupt free justice.

Now juxtapose that to Lagos State High Court.
For months after filing the matter will still be without a court. Why? After paying your filing and service fees to the Registry and you don’t trace your file to the Bailiff your case is assigned to and mobilize him/her, your case file will keep gathering dust at the Process Office.

Even when the case is assigned it gathers dust at the court until an interested party approaches the Court Registrar for a date to be given on the matter.

Where a date is given you won’t get a hearing Notice served on the Defendant nor will you receive any sms notification from the court.

Just before the leprosy bedeviling the various state high courts spread to the National Industrial Court, let us remind the Lagos State Judiciary that it’s not rocket science to have a corrupt free administration of justice while it is equally not rocket science to make adjudication accessible to the common man instead of this unilateral increase in court fees that tends to cost an arm or limb to file any case at all in Lagos.

National Industrial Court has shown that its doable, let’s not allow the leprosy to flow down to the National Industrial Court.

Thank God Lagos Judiciary is commencing a new legal year today under a new Judge that has the capacity and the experience to help fumigate the Lagos Judicial for the sake of the common man and the legal profession.

As my Yoruba lineage will say, “è kú new legal year to Lagos Judiciary.

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