Olisa Agbakoba Legal (OAL) for over 30 years has provided advisories to courts in Nigeria on Speed of Justice. The Advisory was the result of acute delays in banking cases caused by ineffective rules of procedure applicable to courts.

 

OAL began a project called the Nigerian Court Procedures Project (NCPP) to significantly reduce or eliminate delays in trials by reforming the civil procedures system in superior courts. The project was done in collaboration with the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) of the University of Lagos, the Chief Judge of Lagos State and supported by The British Council, Lagos, and the Australian Embassy, Lagos (1997-1999). This project produced a Model Civil Procedure Rules which was the first rules of procedure that had case management and fast track. The model rules were first adopted by the Lagos state Judiciary and subsequently by other superior courts in Nigeria.

 

OAL worked with many Chief Judges of the  Federal High Court to reform Federal High Court Rules, Companies Proceedings Rules, Companies Winding-up Rules, Bankruptcy Rules, and Admiralty Jurisdiction Rules. OAL was commissioned by former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru Musdapher to produce model civil procedure rules for consideration by Heads of Courts.  OAL supplied the thematic direction and radical content of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules enacted by Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, then the Chief Justice Nigeria.

 

OAL contributed to reforms of the Federal High Court rules by Chief Judge Roseline Ukeje and her successor Chief Judge Abdullahi Mustapha. The Mustapha Rules introduced a fundamental objective, similar to the overriding objective of the English Rules, to serve as the guiding policy behind the rules. Other innovations included frontloading and written addresses. OAL also worked with Chief Judge Ibrahim Auta to introduce fast track Practice Directions for AMCON cases.

 

OAL drafted new Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, Companies Proceedings Rules, Companies Winding-up Rules, and Bankruptcy Rules. In addition to the reform of rules and procedure, OAL has advised the Attorney General of the Federation on the need for Sector Specific Courts to decongest the regular courts and bring speed and efficiency in commercial disputes.

 

OAL has published a Speed of Justice Training Manual on case Management and a Manual on Debt Resolution and Recovery Processes under the AMCON Act 2010.

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