2-day justice reform summit opens in Lagos as Sanwo-Olu seeks robust system

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By Adenike Ayodele

Lagos State Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has called for innovative thinking and a robust legal system to transform Lagos into a global economic hub.

Sanwo-Olu made the call on Monday at the Lagos Justice Reform Summit with the theme: “Enhancing the Administration of Justice For Economic Growth, Investment Protection and Security in Lagos State”.

Sanwo-Olu, who opened the two-day summit held at the Marriott Hotel Ikeja, acknowledged that extensive work was needed from the government and other stakeholders in the administration of criminal justice.

“We need a strong judicial system for that to exist because that will be one of the strongest points that anybody will be looking for.

“There is a necessity for rule of law,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu listed progress made in Lagos judiciary to include the appointment of 24 justices in less than five years.

According to him, the appointment of an additional 13 justices is expected soon.

The governor called for innovativeness in the judiciary.

He urged collaboration between the bench and the bar.

” How do we ensure that the opportunities that this space has given to us are being used to the best of our capacity?”

Sanwo-Olu added that plans were underway to make Lagos an international financial centre, whereby Lagos could be a destination for investment and a haven for investment.

Earlier in his keynote address, Mr Gregory Vijayendran, a former President of the Law Society of the Republic of Singapore, emphasised the importance of a strong judicial system for economic growth.

Vijayendran gave insights into how Singapore thrived by consistently adapting to global trends and maintaining zero tolerance for corruption.

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Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Lawal Pedro (SAN), urged stakeholders to safeguard the rule of law and promote access to justice to transform the state justice sector and everything connected to it.

Pedro said that the summit was geared toward the transformation of the state’s justice system.

He urged participants to recommend ways to address delayed justice delivery.

According to him, the dispensation of justice and the need to ensure an effective judicial system were roles that all stakeholders in the justice system should play.

He said: “At the end of the summit, it is expected that stakeholders will recommend lawful ways and means to address delayed justice delivery.

“It is my desire that civil cases in our trial courts should not last more than 18 months from the date of commencement of an action; six months in cases of simple recovery of debt and three months in cases of recovery of arrears of rents and possession of premises.

“To underscore the objectives of this summit, Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Cooperatives, Trade and Investment revealed that in the last one year, the state government successfully attracted investments in both foreign and local direct investment.

“Therefore, in case of any dispute, the investment should not be unduly tied down by protracted litigation.”

He said that the administration of justice should be used for the enhancement of economic growth, investment protection and security in the state and Nigeria in general. (NAN)

Edited by Ijeoma Popoola

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