The Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, on Monday stated that “timely and efficient adjudication” of cases enhances stability in the Nigerian financial sector.
To this extent, the Acting CJN said time is of essence for a cross discussion of the legal and contextual issues including the challenges encountered by operators and regulators of the banking and financial services sector in relation to the judicial system, so as, “to identify possible solutions to the problems and thereby ensure stability of the Nigerian banking and financial economy”.
Ariwoola was speaking at a capacity building workshop for Justices and Judges of the Court of Appeal and Federal High Court on Banking and Financial Services.
He noted that the theme of the workshop, ‘The Role of the Judiciary in Banking Sector Reforms and Economic Growth in Nigeria’, signifies the desire by relevant stakeholders to continuously improve the competence and capacity of judicial officers in the areas of substantive and procedural law, judicial ethics and skill, as well as social context awareness of issues that are critical to the well-being of the country.
While stating that “the banking sector is operated based on the assurances of trust and confidence”, the CJN stressed that such trust and confidence “can be easily eroded where there are delays and inefficiencies in speedily resolving disputes arising from the sector”.
Justice Ariwoola however maintained that the Judiciary has proactively positioned itself to meet the challenges posed by the dynamics and innovations of the digital age by streamlining several rules of court so as to embrace and encourage quick methods of dispute resolution.
He said: “Not only are courts becoming more automated, but our rules of court have also evolved to include IT solutions and alternative dispute resolution mechanism, amongst other strategies that enhance more efficiency in the administration of justice.”
Earlier, the Administrator of the National Judicial Institute (NJI), Justice Salisu Abdullahi, stated that the workshop organized by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Juris Law in collaboration with the NJI, was aimed at providing a platform for bankers, financial experts, regulators and other stakeholders in the banking and financial sector to discuss and agree on approaches that will best secure the successful implementation of recent reforms relating to the sector.
On his part, the President/Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Mr Ken Opara, stated that the effective and timely determination of disputes bordering on financial system stability is crucial to the banking sector because it reduces the number of public funds to be expended on such matters.
While he called on the Judiciary to encourage mediation and conciliation mechanisms for dispute resolutions, Opara tasked the Judiciary to create and embrace online payment platforms to ease the filing of court processes to eradicate delays associated with manual processes.