Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), has expressed worry about the large number of cases, particularly those with a political bent, that judges are required to handle each day.
Justice Ariwoola spoke on Wednesday in Abuja during the swearing-in of recently appointed Justices of the Court of Appeal.
“Indeed, the times we are in are not pleasant, to say the least.
“We are constantly on our toes and the dockets are ever rising in response to the challenges of the time. This underscores the undisputed fact that Nigeria continuously ranks among the most litigious countries In the world.
“I strongly believe it is high time we began to imbibe the culture of less litigation and more of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms so that our courts can be freed of unnecessary burden and depletion of both human and material resources,” the CJN stated.
He said the onus squarely rests on the newly elevated Justices “to fasten your belt and roll up your sleeves to face the challenges head-on”.
The CJN also promoted less litigation and a focus on alternative conflict resolution techniques, which he claimed would lighten the pressure on justices and preserve precious resources.
Court administrators, the president of the Court of Appeal, members of the outer and inner bar, and other high-ranking government officials in addition to the families and friends of the nine newly appointed Justices of the Court of Appeal filled the Supreme Court.
The chief justice advised the jurists to uphold their reputation and flee from temptations which might come with juicy gifts.
Following the practice direction of the Court of Appeal, which allows the appellate court 90 justices, the swearing-in of nine justices brings the number of judges from 71 to 80.