President Bola Tinubu has called for a reform that would enable Nigerians to fully benefit from the justice sector.

Tinubu stated this on Wednesday in Abuja while declaring open the 2-day National Summit on Justice 2024, organised by the Federal Ministry of Justice in collaboration with the European Union, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, the United Nations Children’s Fund and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Represented by the Vice-President, Kashim Shettima, the president said “My administration has made the justice sector a top priority”.

He called on all members of the Justice sector to align with the renewed hope agenda while he promised to enhance the efficiency of the Judiciary sector.

“There is much we can achieve as a nation when the judiciary and other public institutions come together.

“This administration will encourage critical reform that will allow Nigeria to reap from investments.

“I’m fully aware of the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Justice; having saved the nation from international embarrassment before now and its move toward operational reform.

While urging the leadership of justice institutions to serve Nigeria, he emphasised increased accountability, delivery and improved public trust.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, on his part said the summit will yield dividends and enhance access to justice.

He added that it is of great importance that issues of corruption, inefficiency, and undue influence be addressed.

He stressed that justice is the fundamental pillar that holds the rule of law and the judiciary under his watch has achieved a commendable feat.

“The judiciary under my watch, has recorded a significant milestone. Delivering justice to the people lies on the judiciary,” the CJN said.

He, however, regretted that justice is still a far reality for most Nigerians with barriers ranging from procedural complexities to socio-economic disparity.

“We must address systemic issues that undermine the integrity of our justice system, including corruption, inefficiency and undue influence.

“Upholding the independence and impartiality of the judiciary is paramount, as it is the cornerstone of a functioning democracy and a guarantor of the rule of law,” he said.

The CJN said the quest for justice should not be a privilege reserved for the few, but a right accessible to all, regardless of their circumstances.

“Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to embark on a journey of comprehensive reform to ensure that justice is not only dispensed but also perceived to be dispensed fairly and impartially.

“Constitutional, statutory and operational reforms are imperative if we are to reposition the justice sector for the 21st Century.

“We must critically examine our legal framework, identifying gaps and inconsistencies that hinder the efficient administration of justice,” the CJN said.

He lauded President Tinubu for his support to the Judiciary which he said has positively affected the welfare of judicial officers.

He said he was ready to work with the President and leaders of the National Assembly to effect the necessary changes in the judiciary.

“Judicial officers must critically look at the legal framework and be bold in their legislative reforms,” Ariwoola said.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, averred his commitment to strengthening the Nigerian justice sector.

He disclosed that a major objective of the summit has to do with validating and adopting the revised National Policy on Justice, 2024–2028, which is the product of extensive research work and consultations undertaken by critical stakeholders in the Justice Sector.