Convene Stakeholders Meeting To Save Judiciary By Rev David Ugolor
SIR: The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) frowns on the sundry cases of counter-judgements on political cases, and calls on the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, and the National Judicial Commission, NJC, to convene a stakeholders meeting to arrest the obnoxious trend.
This is in view of the recent Abuja division of the Court of Appeal that nullified an earlier judgement by a Federal High Court, which sacked Dr.OkezieIkpeazu as governor of Abia State. ANEEJ believes that the incessant flip-flops in the judicial pronouncements tend to be politically motivated rather than based on legal precedents, antecedents and precepts.
Justice is one of the pillars upon which humanity stands. It must not be bought and sold. If the perception that it can be politically driven gains ground, then it no longer is the hope of the common man. The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) must intervene and convene a stakeholders’ seminar or meeting to give the NJC powers to redeem the image and reputation the judiciary as the arm of government which interprets the law impartially and fairly.
In the recent past, judicial decisions/pronouncements have had a tendency to incite and divide Nigerians rather than unite them. A political party in Nigeria today has two party chairmen instead of one, and this has already added to the insinuation in international political platforms that Nigeria does not have strong institutions. The judiciary has often willy-nilly helped to weaken structures of governance by its inconsistent pronouncements and judgements, and is often seen as colluding with other arms of government to fight against the anti-corruption stance of the present administration. ANEEJ has reason to cite how these judgements which prop up two party chairmen, have diminished the value of the electoral process where an erstwhile party chairman props up his own candidate.
‘What we are witnessing is shocking and bewildering and does not augur well for our political development. Apart from putting Nigeria in bad light before the international community, it rubbishes any effort to create a stable, peaceful and conducive environment, where leadership is transparent, accountable and efficient in delivering justice, equity and good governance to the people.
ANEEJ insists that stakeholders in governance and the judiciary take the lead to frustrate the attempt by self-seeking individuals and politicians, bent on destroying the image of the judiciary, and initiate efforts to restore its confidence in discharging fair judgements, enthronement of transparency and the entrenchment of justice in the polity.
Rev David Ugolor,