By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Bauchi has called for the adequate funding of the state’s judiciary to enable it content with the numerous challenges bedeviling it.
The state chairman of the association, Barr. Abubakar Abdulhameed Bununu said, “Of course funding of the state judiciary is too meagre, the function of the state judiciary in the state structure cannot be exhaustive”.
“The funding should be added to include all the basic needs of even the staff of the judiciary, not to talk of the judges themselves, even though here in Bauchi state we are happy that the government is taking bold steps in addressing most of the problems in the state judiciary”.
The Bauchi NBA Chairman was also on the committee led by the State Chief Judge, Justice Rabi Talatu Umar that undertake periodic visits to correctional centres reviewing cases of awaiting trial inmates (ATMs) especially those that spent four years and above under trial.
He told journalists in Bauchi that some of the delays in the dispensation of justice are being caused by the Ministry of Justice to which he was also a staff, in the course of seeking advices on cases, stressed that “We are having an issue of less staffing”.
“I think in the entire north east of this country, we have lesser lawyers in the ministry of justice, I don’t think we are more than 40 presently, but in places like Adamawa at the rate of 70 lawyers, they were crying for more”.
Bununu added, “I believe most of my colleagues are legal advisers in like two, three different MDAs or there about. So on the issue of these prosecutions we are facing now, especially with the 2020 Police Act, most of the cases police are handling now will be shifted to the ministry of justice and with less capacity, we cannot handle it diligently”
Barrister Abubakar Bununu therefore called on the state government to see to the employment of additional staff, especially counsels, as well as adequate funding the ministry to cope with conferences or seminars, symposiums or short courses of updating their knowledge.