Rotimi Makinde Makes Case for Customary Courts, Express Readiness To Offer Best
A member of Osun State Judicial Service Commission, Hon. Rotimi Makinde has disclosed readiness to offer his best in re-positioning the state judiciary to an enviable level, even as he makes case for State Customary Courts in the country for general public good.
The former Federal Parliamentarian who represented Ife Federal Constituency in the 7th Assembly during a chat with some selected media practitioners in his home town said; ”Ethnic Customary law is enforced in customary courts.
These courts are at the lowest rung of the hierarchy of courts and in most cases are presided over by non- legally trained personnel. Judiciary is very critical to the maintenance of good governance and a just society. Government needs to ensure that the grundnorm is not desecrated, providing necessary checks and balances with regards to the actions of the executive and legislative arms of government.
”It will be necessary to increase the jurisdiction of Customary courts to accommodate minor offences such as minor traffic, marital and sanitation offences which do not require custodial sentences. I also recommend that those who make laws for the states should look at the Osun State Customary Courts Law with a view to expanding the jurisdiction which in turn will advance our justice delivery system.”
”With due respect, I urge State governments to invest heavily on Judges at the Customary Courts, this will help to increase and add value to their experience through training and retraining and other judicial capacity building initiatives.
We have seen situations whereby lawyers just bamboozle judges at Customary Courts with semantics and some technical legal terms, often times they have their ways, this is not good for the system at all. This should not be the case anymore. We need to strengthen our institutions for general public good.” Makinde stated
Continuing, Makinde said, ”Judiciary is an arm of government that is charged with the responsibility of interpretation of laws and settlement of disputes. It is commonly called the last hope of the common man and all hands must be on deck not to truncate this laudable goal.
The Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) (CFRN) is supreme and every other law in the country derives is validity from it. It also provides that if any other law in the country is inconsistent with the provisions of the constitution such law becomes illegal, unconstitutional and void.”
The astute and dogged politician at length stressed that, "Section 282 (1) of the CFRN provides that a Customary Court of a State shall exercise appellate and supervisory jurisdiction in CIVIL PROCEEDINGS involving questions of CUSTOMARY LAW.
"Sub-Section 2 of the same 282 goes further to provide that (Section 282), a Customary Court of Appeal of a state shall exercise such jurisdiction and decide such questions (Customary Law) as may be prescribed by the House of Assembly of the State for which it is established.
Therefore, it could be said that the validity for the establishment Customary Courts in states is derived from this constitutional provision." Makinde disclosed