Legal Nigeria

CJN Laments, Says Journey To Supreme Court In Commercial Dispute Could Last For 8 To 20years

By Unini Chioma 

*Says timely dispensation of justice will enhance Nigeria’s financial stability

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad on Tuesday, said that the timely dispensation of justice will enhance financial stability in Nigeria.

He made the remarks while declaring open a Two-Day Workshop for Judicial Officers on Recent Reforms of Banking and Financial Services Law and Practice.

The workshop was organized by the National Judicial Institute (NJI) in collaboration with Juris Law and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Justice Muhammad who stated that it is almost impossible to avoid disputes in commercial ventures, remarked that investors are more concerned about dispute resolution mechanism put in place to quickly resolve disputes that may arise in the course of business transactions between disputants.

Lamenting the length of time it takes to hear and decide a commercial case from trial court up to the Supreme Court, the CJN said that “no investor will be happy to tie down his capital for an uncertain period of time, which may have been occasioned by commercial disputes bogged down in court”.

He said, “The journey to the Supreme Court in a commercial dispute could last for as long as eight to twenty years.

“This is quite disheartening and the effect of this is that the investment at stake or money in dispute would have depreciated in value such that the successful party would gain no benefit from the judgment”.

Muhammad however stated that if the judiciary must play its role in financial stability in Nigeria, cases of delay must be aggressively and frontally addressed so that parties will get justice at the end and the resultant effect of this will raise public confidence in the judiciary.

“It suffices therefore to say at this point, that timely dispensation of justice by the judiciary is a critical factor that will enhance financial stability in Nigeria”, he added.

The CJN further stated that the theme of the workshop: The Role of the Judiciary in Financial Stability in Nigeria is apposite, because it will sensitize and keep Judicial Officers abreast with new developments in this specialized area of banking law.

“This workshop once again presents valuable opportunity to exchange ideas on the provisions of BOFIA 2020, as it seeks to promote a stronger, more transparent and efficient financial system in Nigeria.

“No doubt, it represents a milestone, expected to boost investors’ confidence. I have had the privilege of going through the papers slated for discussion. I can assure you that you will find them rewarding.

Meanwhile, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, and Chairman, Body of Bank Chief Executives, Herbert Wigwe, were given special recognition at the event.

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