Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi has attributed the slow dispensation of justice to the high number of cases that judges across the country are being burdened with.
The governor, stated this while inaugurating the Oyo State Multi-door Court House located within the premises of the State High Court, Ibadan, on Tuesday.
He therefore appealed to litigants to embrace the newly-introduced multi-court door initiative as an alternative route to seeking redress and liberalizing access to justice.
Ajimobi explained that the multi-court door system was in the furtherance of alternative dispute resolution system which he described as the country’s native jurisprudence before the contemporary court system came into being.
He said: “The official commissioning of the multi-door court house today is a clear signal that we are returning to our root where issues are resolved amicably without the much experienced delays, complex legalese and drain on the resources of the state and disputants.
“This is not meant to minimize the role of our courts, especially the courts of records which play a pivotal role in the maintenance of civil and social order in our society.
“But our vision is to ensure that we provide a credible alternative, yet constitutional route, towards dispute resolution and attainment of justice.’’
In further justifying the introduction of the multi-door court system in the state, the governor frowned on what he called the astronomical addition to the court docket quarterly, saying the development might hamper speedy dispensation of justice.
Ajimobi said that the multi-door court process would enable disputants to access the various other dispute resolution options such as mediation, arbitration, conciliation, early neutral evaluation and hybrid processes.
He said: “I understand from the information available to me that each one of our judges in the High Court currently carry a case load of between 300 and 400 cases per court, which number increases monthly.
“So far, within this first quarter of 2018 only, I am informed that 306 new civil cases have been filed by disputants before the Oyo State High Court and 173 criminal cases filed by the Ministry of Justice and the police.
“With such astronomical addition to the court docket quarterly, our administration of justice system may never be able to achieve speedy dispensation of justice, without an initiative like the multi-door court.
“It is clear that without this alternative route and a liberalization of our access to justice structures, speedy dispensation of justice will continue to elude our people.’’
Also speaking at the occasion, the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Oluseun Abimbola, said the landmark performances of the present administration, which culminated in the transformation of the State into the 4th Most Desirable Destination of Choice for Foreign Investment had been replicated in the legal system
He described the multi-door court process as part of the Ajimobi-led administration’s legacy of restoration, transformation, and repositioning the state, for which the legal profession in the state would remain grateful.
Abimbola urged all stakeholders and the organized private sector to embrace and harness the benefits of the new initiative in the state’s justice system for their own benefit.
The Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Munta Abimbola expressed appreciation to the governor for the initiative and promised that the state’s legal administration would do all within its power to enhance justice delivery in the State.