ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – The Enugu State Chapter of the Magistrates Association of Nigeria (MAN), have advocated for a review of their jurisdiction to align with contemporary standards and practices in other states, such as Lagos, Delta, Anambra, and more.
The Magistrates mad ether call during an advocacy meeting with the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Dr. Kingsley Tochi Udeh, at the Ministry of Justice Headquarters in Enugu.
During the meeting, the magistrates reiterated their unwavering support and solidarity for Governor Peter Ndubuisi Mbah’s administration.
Magistrate C.K.C Idu, the Chairman of the Magistrates Association, expressed gratitude to Dr. Udeh for the opportunity to engage with him. He also highlighted various challenges faced by magistrates in the state.
These challenges included inconsistencies and gaps in some state laws, including the Magistrate Court Law, Criminal Code, and Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL).
The magistrates called for amendments to these laws to address the identified issues, ultimately promoting effective law and justice administration while enhancing peace and security in the State.
The limited jurisdiction of the State Magistrate Courts was another major issue raised during the meeting. This limitation often leads to an excessive caseload in the State High Court, which could have been handled at the Magistrate Court.
Additional challenges discussed included the harassment of court bailiffs executing lawful court processes, insufficient courtrooms for proceedings, and low courtroom availability leading to reduced productivity.
To address these concerns, the magistrates called for the modernization and equipping of courts to optimize the delivery of justice in the state.
In response, Attorney-General Dr. Kingsley T. Udeh expressed his appreciation for the efforts of the Magistrates Association and assured them of his support in addressing the raised issues.
He encouraged the association to develop an action plan that outlines the problems, proposed solutions, implementation timelines, and responsible parties.
Dr. Udeh revealed that the administration of Governor Peter Mbah, through the Ministry of Justice, had completed the review of bills aimed at amending the Magistrate Court Law, Criminal Code, and the ACJL.
These bills are set to be presented to the House of Assembly for approval. He also noted that Governor Mbah’s administration is actively working to modernize and equip the courts to enhance justice delivery in the state.
The advocacy meeting was attended by several members of the Magistrates Association on behalf of their colleagues, all committed to improving the legal system and the administration of justice in Enugu State.
They include: Mag. C.K.C Idu, Mag. Enuma Chukwu, Mag. Christie Ejeagbasi, Mag. Chime Ogechukwu, Mag. Paulson Chibuzo Egbo, Mag. Agbo Edith, Mag. Dominic Onwu, Mag. Frank Chukwu, Mag. Agu Joseph, Mag. Udeze Ebere, Mag. Omou Dominic, Mag. Egbo Paulson.