Judiciary is well positioned to dispense justice in a post COVID-19 era – Onofiok Luke
The Member representing Etinan/Nsit Ibom/Nsit Ubium Federal Constituency and Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, Mr Onofiok Luke has assured the National Judicial Institute (NJI) that consideration will be given to increasing its budgetary allocation in the 2021 fiscal year.
Luke who led other members of the Committee to oversight function at NJI Headquarters in Abuja, said the legislature is committed to supporting the judiciary to ensure its carries out it functions effectively.
“Our sole aim of been here is to try to see how we can put heads together and then try to reposition the judicial system through the NJI to achieve a greater purpose in post COVID-19 era as we go into 2021 especially as it has to do with 2021 budget because there has been changes in the world and these changes have affected every area of our lives”.
“It is pertinent that in this era of COVID-19 and post COVID-19, we need to reposition the judiciary in order to be able to dispense justice equitably and quickly taking into consideration the demands of the time; the guidelines and the provisions of the protocols that have been set by government”.
“it is the commitment of the House of Representatives under the leadership of Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila to ensure that the judiciary is well positioned for efficient, speedy dispensation of justice”. Luke said
He added that visit was critical as the Committee hopes to discuss ways that the legislature can assist the Institute to equip the judiciary and judicial officers for the challenges of the dispensation of justice in a post COVID-19 era.
He commended the Institute for continuing education that they have been putting in place for our judicial officers to be able to equip them for the task ahead. He said, “we know right now in the world that everything has gone digital, in most countries we have virtual courts, internet courts and prior to today we have been advocating for the automation of court system but it has stared us in the face now and we can not run away from it”.
“Our responsibility today is to think of ways that we can assist the Institute to be able to train our judicial officers and their supporting staff to be up to task to deliver justice in this era that everything has gone virtual”. Luke added.
Responding to the Committee, the NJI Administrator, Rosaline Bozimo said the out of the total sum of N4.032 billion appropriated to the Institute in the 2020 budget, only N1.609 billion has been released as at date.
She stated that for three ongoing projects awarded in 2018, the sum of N1.417 billion is provided in the 2020 budget. The projects are : Expansion of Administrative Office, Rehabilitation of Administrative/ Upgrading of M.L Uwais Board Room and Expansion of NJI Clinic.
Members of the Committee were led by the NJI Management Team to inspect the ongoing projects.