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Burnt Igbosere High Court is Nigeria’s oldest judicial building

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By Adebisi Onanuga

To stakeholders in the justice sector, the burning of the Lagos High Court, Igbosere, Lagos by hoodlums under the guise of #EndSARS protest last Wednesday, was the height of hooliganism and wanton destruction of government property.

The ugly incident cast a dark shadow on the judiciary and will set justice delivery many paces backwards.

Igbosere High Court is reputed as the oldest and most recognisable judicial building in Nigeria.

When it was established, it was called the Supreme Court and its jurisdiction was limited to Lagos.

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At self-government, the Federal Territory of Lagos inherited two systems of courts; the Magistrates’ Courts and the Supreme Court.

At the creation of the Federal Supreme Court, the Lagos Supreme Court became the High Court of the Federal Territory, Lagos.

The High Court building in Lagos at Race Course, on Igbosere Road, was the headquarters of the court.

Similarly, a 2017 Lagos State Ministry of Justice publication titled: “Lagos State Justice Sector since 1967”, identifies the state’s Judiciary as the oldest in Nigeria.

Its existence dates back to the period of the cession of Lagos to the British Government when Lagos was known as a British Protectorate.

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