Lagos lawyer and former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ikorodu Branch, Mr. Bayo Akinlade has said the plan by the Lagos State Government to temporarily relocate the courts affected by the arson that destroyed the Igbosere Division of the Lagos High Court to Ikoyi is not a well thought out plan.
According to Mr. Akinlade, relocation to Ikoyi, a highbrow of Lagos would make the court difficult to access for majority of the litigants.
Mr. Akinlade’s statement reads in part:
“The Lagos State Government is planning to relocate the Commercial Division to an exclusive residential area in Ikoyi off Osborne Road.
Anyone who knows that area very well will agree with me that accessing that part of Ikoyi will impact negatively on Litigants and Lawyers who use these courts coming from different parts of Lagos.
I cannot say much for the residents of that neighborhood who spent alot just to reside in such an exotic location only to now be exposed to the commercial activities that will follow the courts.
I make a strong argument here that the Lagos State Government should reconsider locating the court within Ikoyi. Between Surulere and Lagos Island I am sure that the Government can find other more suitable locations.
Access to Justice is as important as getting justice itself. If people cannot access our courts then we have failed to do justice.
The leadership of the NBA, SBL, SLP, YLF and other stakeholders should please wade into this matter and assist the Judiciary and the Executive make the right decisions for the benefit of all Court users.
Let us critically consider the road network, the safety and security of the residents around the court location and the cost of getting to such a location before we make move our courts.
We owe citizens to do what is in their best interests and we do this by engaging them in robust dialogue regarding this issue.”