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Judges Are Overworked, Let’s Give Them All They Need To Succeed – Legal Practitioner

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A former Chairman, Section of Public Interest and Development Law (SPIDEL), Nigerian Bar Association, Monday Ubani, has lamented the workload on judges in the country, saying they deserve support in carrying out their duties.

During a live appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Friday, Ubani stressed that the judiciary, as a paramount institution in society, should operate under optimal working conditions.

“We (judges) are overworked. Even with these electoral cases we are talking about, do you know how many cases these people are handling? We must take care of the judicial sector in terms of proper financing and proper taking care of the judges by giving them quality welfare.

“When they are taken care of in terms of the salary and allowances that they deserve and they put structures in place that give them room to operate efficiently, then you can now also judge them when they err.

“If you don’t address those issues and you now come to attack, you know, the problems that prop up as a result of foundational issues, you wouldn’t have solved the problem.

“There is no other institution in the world as powerful; as revered as the judicial sector, this is the only particular sector that plays the role of God in society. They make pronouncements and pronouncements stand; not even the reverend, not even the imams, have the power of judges, you can come today as a free person and you are going to a correctional centre as a result of the pronouncement of a judge,” he said.

The legal practitioner argued that fulfilling these responsibilities requires providing judges with all necessary resources and addressing the inadequate infrastructure under which many of them operate.

“So, in such responsibility, we must give them all that is requisite for them to succeed, the infrastructures on the condition under which most of them operate,” he said.

Sharing an incident, Ubani recounted an encounter with a judge: “I was in court one day and one of the presiding judges said, ‘Mr Ubani, two judges are in the mortuary; they are in the mortuary as a result of the pressure of work.’”

The lawyer shed more light on the staggering caseloads judges handle amidst electoral cases and expressed concern over the toll it takes on their well-being.

“Sometimes they cry; they want to let out… and say we have been overburdened,” he said.

“Judges are not being appointed to reflect the number of cases in the courts. Yet you are expected to perform excellently well…There are problems. So, let’s solve the problems of the judiciary.”

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