Re-Engineer The Judiciary System To Fight Corruption Now –CACOL

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law-justice-courtWe need a judicial reform to ameliorate the situation of the judges and the Nigerian judiciary because the judiciary is terribly sick, and unless all necessary efforts are put in place, Nigeria will not have any hope for further development from the level that we are now. We need to remember that the judiciary is supposed to be the hope for the common man.

When we look at some of the sensitive cases; especially the ones that involved politically exposed persons, the judiciary has always allowed itself to be misused towards unnecessary delay with extensive arguments that translate to unnecessary extensions. They allow frivolous injunctions that delay cases for so long, and as they say, “justice delayed is justice denied.”

If we look at cases of those who committed minor offences, they are quickly dispensed with and sent to jail. However, most cases that involve public exposed persons do not take a similar pattern. What they do is to first challenge the jurisdiction of the court, then they fall sick and get a leave from the court to travel abroad. If their passport was seized, they would blackmail judges to grant them leave to retrieve the passport. All of these lead to miscarriage of justice, and it is so sad that some of the lawyers are also complicit in these misbehavior of judicial officers.

Looking at what is happening in the Supreme Court now, the new criminal justice system does not allow all the interlocutory injunctions that are being asked for in some popular cases that are currently going on, but some lawyers would still go ahead and file cases against the lower court with a view to blackmailing them that it is an automatic stay of proceedings, once a case is filed in the higher court. Even though, this is not allowed by the law, these lawyers are bent on delaying the cause of justice so that witnesses would be frustrated and evidences would be obliterated. This is definitely not the right way law officers should help the development of jurisprudence in Nigeria, and if they continue like this, they will end up destroying the judicial system in Nigeria, which will only make us a laughing stock in the Comity of Nations.

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When you also look at the pertinent situation of judicial officers complaining of death threats, thereby caving into compromise, one cannot but wonder at where we place our values. “There is nobody fighting corruption or fighting criminals that will not be threatened by the criminals.” You do not jump into the water if you cannot swim, and you cannot be inside water and still complain of coldness. Basically, before taking up an appointment as a judge, you would have known what are the pros and cons, and how sensitive the job you are taking is, and what it entails.

The President is concerned about the attempts to recover stolen assets in accordance with the law, and according to him, the effort is being slowed down with tactics and antics of lawyers, and sometimes with apparent connivance of judges.

The judicial system is too much of a serious business than to be left for the judiciary alone to tackle, since majority of them are profiteering from the rot that is in existence. It is up to those of us who are likely to be victims of their misbehavior to put our acts together, and devise means of stopping them; so that the general public may know that some of our judicial officers cannot be trusted not to go into conspiracy, or unholy alliance with criminals that we have to root out of our own system.

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