Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State on Tuesday declared that too much work load on judges is the major factor responsible for the delay in dispensation of justice in the country.
Ajimobi made this declaration while inaugurating the Oyo State Multi-door Court House located within the premises of the State High Court, Ibadan.
He said to avoid delay in dispensation of justice, litigants must endeavor to embrace the newly-introduced multi-court door initiative as an alternative route in seeking redress and liberalizing access to justice.
Ajimobi explained that the multi-court door system was in the furtherance of alternative dispute resolution system, which he described as the country’s native jurisprudence before the contemporary court system came into being.
He said, “The official commissioning of the multi-door court house today is a clear signal that we are returning to our root where issues are resolved amicably without the much experienced delays, complex legalese and drain on the resources of the state and disputants.
“This is not meant to minimize the role of our courts, especially the courts of records which play a pivotal role in the maintenance of civil and social order in our society.
“But our vision is to ensure that we provide a credible alternative, yet constitutional route, towards dispute resolution and attainment of justice.’’
Ajimobi said that the multi-door court process would enable disputants to access the various other dispute resolution options such as mediation, arbitration, conciliation, early neutral evaluation and hybrid processes.
He said, “the information available to me is that each one of our judges in the High Court currently carries a case load of between 300 and 400 cases per court, which number increases monthly.
“So far, within this first quarter of 2018 only, I am informed that 306 new civil cases have been filed by disputants before the Oyo State High Court and 173 criminal cases filed by the Ministry of Justice and the police.
“With such astronomical addition to the court docket quarterly, our administration of justice system may never be able to achieve speedy dispensation of justice, without an initiative like the multi-door court.
“It is clear that without this alternative route and a liberalization of our access to justice structures, speedy dispensation of justice will continue to elude our people.’’
Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General in the state Mr. Oluseun Abimbola in his remarks disclosed that the landmark performances of the present administration, which culminated in the transformation of the State into the 4th Most Desirable Destination of Choice for Foreign Investment had been replicated in the legal system.
He described the multi-door court process as part of the Ajimobi-led administration’s legacy of restoration, transformation, and repositioning the state, for which the legal profession in the state would remain grateful.
The state Chief Judge, Justice Munta Abimbola expressed appreciation to the governor for the initiative and promised that the state’s legal administration would do all within its power to enhance justice delivery in the State.