An Abuja based Non Governmental Organisation, the Society for Rule of Law in Nigeria (SRLN), has described the present state of the Nigeria Judiciary as alarming, saying; “if urgent steps are not taken to
bring sanity into the system, judiciary will destroy the country.”
SRLN, which said recent court judgments on corruption cases, especially that of yesterday in which five Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) that represented the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were lampooned by the trial judge call for serious concern, added that; “by now, right thinking Nigerians must have seen the reason we said the allegation of unethical conduct levelled against the suspended President of the Court of Appeal (PCA), Justice Isa Ayo Salami was a serious matter.”
In a statement issued today by its Coordinator, Comrade Chima Ubeku, the SRLN said it was worried that war against corruption in the country was heading for the rocks courtesy of the judiciary.
“When the Code of Conduct Tribunal dismissed the case against Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, we knew that was the end of the anti-corruption war
“Since then, has any case brought by the EFCC against anyone succeed?
“Yesterday, Nigerian judiciary was faced with the most embarrassing situation, with five SANs, including the President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Joseph Daudu accused of “serious and professional incompetence” by the court.
“With what happened yesterday, lovers of rule of law in Nigeria must be worried about the imminent collapse of the justice system in the country, which portends grave danger for the corporate existence of Nigeria as a country.
“Incidentally, this also takes us back to the issue of the suspended PCA, Justice Salami that some people have for their own selfish reasons politicised.
“For instance, if moves are being made for a judge, who by the evidence of the CJN, Justice Dahiru Musdapher before the Justice Umaru Abdullai-led NJC Probe Panel lied on oath, thereby committing perjury, an offence that attracts 14 years of imprisonment to return to office and also begin to adjudicate on cases, there is no need to look to far
as to where the problems in the judiciary are.
“Judges in Nigeria of today are seen in parties and other social functions with politicians and businessmen, and we are even being told that judges have the rights to socialise and relate with litigants.
“Today, we have instances where lawyers forged court documents and tamper with court exhibits with impunity, and when such issues are raised, the next thing that will happen is political gladiators coming up in defence of the affected lawyers.”