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For Heaven’s sake who will defend Nigerain Judges?

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By Taju Tijani… Talking heads, chattering lawyers and social media highways were set ablaze when it was revealed that judges were ambushed, shocked and awed by the raw power of nocturnal assault on their bedrooms by unwanted armed guests. Lawyers, both successful and charge and bail varieties came out from the carapace of their judicial hideouts to whip the public into a kind of frenzy of support against a perceived rape of rule of law especially on arrest of errant members of the bench.

The arrest of corrupt judges whether diurnal or nocturnal is begging the grave issue of abuse of office at stake here. However, what is shameful in all the shenanigans is a kind of elite solidarity from the gentlemen and women of the Nigerian bench who are out to protect their clan from extinction.  It must be stated that lawyers, judges and their sympathisers are playing a reckless and dangerous game in seeking to suppress popular quest for a thorough and comprehensive probe of the judiciary in VIEW of the role played in the selling of justice to the highest bidders. The contentious language of the aggrieved from our learned friends is totally apposite the desire of President Mohammadu Buhari’s administration to rid every strata of our government structure of corruption.

We have to appreciate the fact that institutions are answerable to both the people and government that they serve. Our judiciary is a solid institution that had long been behaving as if it is above the law. It had continually drawn primordial strength as the custodian of our laws and last arbiter for the common man. Worse, the advent of monetized politics has brought out the defects, flaws and frailties of our judiciary.  One undeniable certainty, in the wake of the arrest of these corrupt judges, is the fact that a great number of our judges have desecrated the temple of justice in Nigeria without respect for both the rule of law, fairness and public good.

Our Judiciary is suffering from mass defilement of its temple by corrupt judges who are enemies of both our law, democracy and the ordinary people who are crying for justice in the face of abundant evidence of political corruption among the high and mighty. A corrective institution like our judiciary is not created to protect and shield the ruling few at the expense of the majority.

But that is the situation so far in our law courts especially when cases involve corrupt politicians, bankers and rich businessmen who have tons of CASH to buy justice and walk free after few celebrity-like appearance in our courts.

Nigerians have been brutalized into silence by judges’ rapacious assault on justice. In a space of uninspiring 16 years of our democratic resurgence, the stories of political corruption among our Governors, Minsters, Commissioners, Local Government chairmen had morphed into a typical Nigerian genre.  We read cases of heartless pension fund embezzlers walking away free from our law courts. In those years, we were blinded and deafened with mind boggling cases of billions of public MONEY being looted by these people in high places.

 

Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) took cases in lorry loads to courts. Evidence were tendered before our learned judges, but the secretive accommodation of corruption among their clan will not allow for a single conviction in those brutalizing years of lawlessness. The political class were able to buy justice from our judges. Our courts became a temple full of memorials but no memory of convictions. The persecuted became the persecutors and our judiciary turned into a laughing institution as moral bankruptcy took over.

Judges became impregnable in their judicial fortresses but the Nigerian public harboured secret resentment and contempt for most of the acquittal rulings that further accentuated Nigeria’s judicial poverty.  The National Judicial Council (NJC), a body of questionable integrity, has gone on preemptive mobilisations of clannish support for the legal saints who are too pure to be victims of corruption scrutiny. Yes, the illusions of judicial immunity will not die easily.

The Department of State Security (DSS) had, in what it called a sting operation, arrested Sylvester Ngwuta and Inyang Okoro, both of the Supreme Court;  the suspended Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Ilorin Division, Justice Mohammed Tsamiya; Justice Kabiru Auta of the Kano State High Court and Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja. Others arrested were the sacked Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice I. A. Umezulike, and Muazu Pindiga of the Federal High Court, Gombe Division.

The Chief justice of the Federation (CJN) Justice Mahmud Mohammed has been out shadow boxing and dismissive of the raid. “We do not accept it. This portends real danger to the Nigerian democracy. It is contrary to all civilized norms and accepted standards.”

I do not know where the loyalty of the CJN lies. With the government or the three of his colleagues who were caught with local and FOREIGN CURRENCIES totaling N270million.  What is clearly illegal, unconstitutional and danger to our democracy is the growing crop of judges who are ready to sell justice to the political class, accept billions of naira in order to bail high class criminals, subvert the independence of our judicial institution through impunity, fraud, profligacy, contempt for rule of law and complete pollution of our constitutional purity.

The entire Nigerian political, judicial, economic, financial and social infrastructures are crying for revolutionary change and judges must be seen to be unbiased and dependable agents of this change and not its adversary. With all these evidence, do we convict our judges or acquit them? Court!!!

Ripples Nigeria…without borders, without fears

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  1. Inieke Akpan Ekuma

    October 14, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    there’s no threats to Nigerian democracy than Bribery and Corruption that is well condoned by the Judges and top judiciary officers. the CJN should STOP keeping Poker face

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