• Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Don urges Tinubu, NJC to curtail corruption in judiciary

FG targets $2.7bn annual revenue from seamless port operations

President Bola Tinubu has been urged to investigate and reel out measures to curtail reported corruption in the Nigerian judiciary.

Cyprian Edward-Ekpo, the director-general, the Institute of Law Research and Development of United Nations (ILAWDUN), Washington DC, USA made the call in a statement in Abuja on Friday.

He highlighted the need for a new approach to stemming corruption and intellectual poverty among judicial officers and court administrative staffers.

According to the professor, judges are the voices of sentencing, but their freedom of choice is limited by the rule of law, good conscience, principles of integrity, and morality.

“Quite appalling, today’s role of the Nigerian judiciary comprising the Judex and the Bar, has been different. It has progressed to an international public ridicule and odium and is quite perilous.

“The law in Nigeria has lost a constructional role as guidance and protector of a stable and democratic system – promoting a systemic mass toward desecration of the temple of justice and state’s destruction.

“Beyond debates, this judo-moral crisis demands a critical-mass response, a new approach to stemming the cancerous system of corruption and intellectual poverty among judicial officers and court administrative staffers,’’ he said.

He also called on the National Judicial Council (NJC) to set up a committee of amicus and retired judges known for integrity and intellectual excellence, to review controversial judgments handed by several courts and tribunals.

According to him, the committee can receive reports/petitions of glaring disproportionate judgments, review them and invite the judges for questioning, especially where the basis of their judgment is found wanting.

“Two factors stand as causal elements to the problem of the Nigerian judiciary. They include the intellectual poverty of some judges and corruption.

“The process of which appointment of judges are made should be reviewed forthwith, due consideration to creating a mechanism for only the best brains and tested characters to be appointed into the Bench,’’ Edward-Ekpo noted.

He also appealed to Tinubu to consult with the National Assembly and present an Executive Bill to tackle judicial corruption and enhance the integrity and independence of the judiciary within the framework of the constitution.