An NGO, the Fight Against Corruption in the Judiciary (FIACIJ), on Friday urged the Lagos State Judiciary to put in place modalities for remote court sittings following the burning of some court complexes in the state.
Mr Bayo Akinlade, the Convener of FIACIJ, in a statement in Lagos made recommendations that would help facilitate and enhance the justice process during the period.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that following the recent #EndSARS protest and alleged shootings of some protesters at the Lekki tollgate, some hoodlums had attacked some court premises in Lagos and set them ablaze.
The affected courts include some of the oldest court houses like the Igbosere High Court, Magistrates Court and the Appeal Court.
FIACIJ described as sad, the acts of arson by these unknown individuals and therefore, made the following recommendations.
“The honourable Chief Judge of Lagos state must immediately consider the full adoption of remote hearings for all affected courts pending when the physical structure of the courts will be restored
“There must be a full investigation into how these court premises are left unattended in spite of the police and military formations within the area
“There must also be a temporary relocation of the court’s cash offices and registry.
“The Bar and Bench committee of the Lagos Branch of the NBA should immediately begin deliberations with the Chief Judge of Lagos and a communication line activated to inform affected lawyers and litigants,’’ he said.
According to FIACIJ, there is also need for a temporary relocation of the multidoor courthouse, while law firms within Lagos should consider donating space and giving support to the judiciary.
He also urged that “all forms of corruption in the judiciary must cease immediately’’.
The group also underscored the need for each affected court to open a line of communication with lawyers who have business in their courts for case management purposes.
“The judiciary must make the bidding process for the reconstruction of the courthouse transparent and participate actively in the design of the courtrooms.
“The judiciary should undertake a complete audit of its structures and lapses in its integrity and security.
“All courthouses in Lagos state must be fully repaired and put in a condition fit for Judges and Magistrates,’’ he said.
FIACIJ assured the judiciary of its support in helping to change the image of the judiciary in the eyes of the public.
It said that this is in a bid to promote integrity within the justice sector and rid it of all corrupt elements.