Lagos courthouse: “leaky and stinky”

As the justice ministry shuts down well-appointed courthouses up and down the country – Monchique’s being a perfect example – one that has dodged the axe struggles to operate, with rain pouring in when weather is bad, lavatories out of order and a “nauseating stink” assailing all and sundry.
This is the sorry picture of Lagos Tribunal painted by Correio da Manhã newspaper. It is considered to be one of the most interesting judicial buildings in the Algarve and yet it finds itself in an advanced state of degradation.
“There are leaks everywhere, the floor is as loose as a jigsaw puzzle, the magistrates’ and prisoners’ toilets don’t work, the place smells bad, there is no air-conditioning and no lift for the disabled,” said a source from the court.
The court has around 20 members of staff – dealing with over 10,000 cases – that have to work in cramped conditions as rain splashes down on them in bad weather.
The conditions are “incredible”, added the court source, who told how the toilets for both magistrates and prisoners had been out of order for more than a year.The stink there is reportedly nauseating.
Presiding judge Luís Leonor told the newspaper that the Ministry of Justice has been informed of the situation but as yet no one seems sure if or when any money will become available for renovations.
Meantime, if anyone in a wheelchair has to be heard in Lagos court, they are very often heard outside in the street, as there are just too many stairs to negotiate to get into the courtroom.
Stop press: Following the publication of this story in national media, the Ministry of Justice is reported to have decided to “advance with repair work”. A date has not yet been given, but the government has “promised, in a first phase, to the rehabilitation of the bathrooms”, reports Correio da Manhã.