Ex-Legal Aid Council boss seeks suspension of 2021 Annual Judges Vacation

A former Chairman of Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), has called on the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, to suspend the 2021 Annual Judges Vacation as a strategy to save the nation’s justice system.

Ayorinde made the call in a letter to the CJN.

The letter, entitled: “The Need to Suspend 2021 Annual Court Vacation”, was  obtained on Wednesday by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

He cited the 2020 #EndSARS protests, the Coronavirus pandemic and the just-suspended JUSUN strike as events which had adverse impacts on the justice sector.

He urged that the annual judges vacation for 2021 should be suspended in the interest of justice administration.

“It is a well-known and acknowledged fact that our judges are hardworking and patriotic Nigerians.

“As such, and in view of the highlighted circumstances that have paralysed judicial activities across Nigeria, there is a glaring opportunity for the judiciary to make a bold statement to rekindle the hope of the common man as well as renew investors’ confidence in Nigeria as an investment destination.

“I, therefore, most humbly urge your lordship and all other heads of courts in Nigeria to, in the interest of persons who are languishing in detention and awaiting trial and those that their cases have suffered inordinate delays due to extraneous factors aforementioned, kindly direct a suspension of the 2021 Annual Judges Vacation to save our justice system.

“Such a direction will, no doubt, portray the judiciary as a most responsive institution and the third arm of government that is the last hope of the common man.

“Such a direction will also definitely and substantially clear most of the backlog of cases which have suffered delays in our courts,’’ he  said.

NAN reports that the letter was copied to all heads of courts, chief judges of  states and the Federal Capital Territory, Nigerian Bar Association president, and secretary to the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria. (NAN)