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Lawyers deplore state of courts in Lagos

29 October 2012, 10:10

Lagos -  Some Lagos-based lawyers have appealed to the Lagos State Government to provide electronic gadgets in magistrates' courts to facilitate court proceedings and quick dispensation of justice.

The lawyers, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos, said that most magistrates' courts lacked micro-phones and electronic voice recorders.

According to them, these gadgets are necessary for a speedy court proceeding.

A legal practitioner with Nwana & Co Solicitors, Mr Vincent Nwana (SAN), said that the situation was not restricted to the magistrates' courts but also in the high courts.

Nwana said that magistrates and even judges still take down proceedings in long hand, thereby delaying proceedings and quick dispensation of justice.

Nwana claimed that the magistrates' courts were in deplorable state.

``The magistrates' court is often saddled with plethora of cases to handle, but these cases cannot be quickly dispensed with, if the magistrates record proceedings in long hand.

Another lawyer, Mr Kola Afolayan of K. Afolayan Chambers, said that the magistrates' court had been relegated because of their status as lower courts.

Afolayan said that magistrates' court should be upgraded.

``The number of litigants, plaintiffs, lawyers and prosecutors that come before magistrates' court cannot be compared to some high courts.

``Sometimes these courts are full to the brim and you can barely hear from the magistrate.

 ``It is important that adequate public address systems and electronic recorders be supplied to assist them in day to day proceedings," Afolayan said.

Mr Anthony Makolo, a lawyer with Makolo & Makolo Chambers, told NAN that the public address systems in majority of the courts had stopped functioning.

Makolo underscored the need for a sound address system to cushion the effects of lawyers misleading the court.



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