Press release June 2, 2010, Maiduguri, Borno state

MULTI-AGENCY MONITORING MISSION VISITS BORNO STATE JUDICIARY ON EU FUNDED PROJECT

On 2nd June 2010, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the European Union (EU), the National Judicial Institute (NJI) and the National Planning Commission visited Borno State to assess the progress made in the implementation of the Borno State Action Plan on Justice Sector Reform 2008-2010. This action plan was developed by the Borno State Judiciary in concert with other stakeholders in 2007 and implemented with the support of the European Union and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Borno State is one of ten States benefitting from this 25 Million Euro project funded by the European Union.

The action plan which was adopted by the Borno State Judiciary Integrity Meeting focuses on, enhancing access to justice; improving timeliness and quality of justice delivery; strengthening the integrity, accountability, transparency, independence and impartiality of the court system and coordination across the justice sector.

During the mission, the monitoring team had discussions with the implementation committee, the Borno State House of Assembly, the Hon. Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice of Borno State as well as a team of over 30 journalists in a press conference. While addressing the members of the House of Assembly, the Senior Project Coordinator Dr. Oliver Stolpe highlighted the exemplary fashion in which Borno State had implemented the action plan and the considerable impact achieved in terms of increased accessibility, effectiveness and integrity of the Borno State justice system. He noted that the Borno State Judiciary, under the leadership of Honorable Justice Kashim Zannah the Chief Judge of Borno State, had successfully implemented almost all actions contained in the plan. As a result, public trust in the judiciary has significantly improved over the past year with more than 80% of courts users expressing their confidence and satisfaction with the courts.

Dr. Stolpe congratulated the Executive Governor on his vision and dedication to justice reform but, however, warned against complacency. He called upon the Judiciary, the Legislature and the Executive to make provisions for and support the development and implementation of a new action plan in 2011. Action planning for justice sector reform should become a permanent feature of the state's annual budget and could serve as a model for other public sector agencies both within and beyond Borno State.

In turn, the Deputy Speaker of the House - Honorable Bello Ayuba welcomed the monitoring team and noted that there can be "no development without the rule of law".