• Saturday, June 15, 2024
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BusinessDay

NOIPolls finds corruption prevalent in Nigeria’s Judicial System

Nigeria’s Judicial System

A public opinion poll conducted by NOIPolls has revealed that corruption remains prevalent in the Nigerian Judicial system, as most citizens – 88 percent respondents – expressed lack of confidence in the system.

This, sadly is coming after some actions had been seen to be taken in sanitizing the judiciary, including the suspension of the previous Chief Justice of Nigeria on allegations of corruption, and the arrest of two Supreme Court judges over allegations of corruption. In both examples, the actors voluntarily stepped aside from their roles.

According to the poll, only about two-third(63 percent) of this population a sliver of the population which had had direct experience or knew someone who had experience with the judicial system in the past one year described their experience with the judicial system as being negative, citing reasons such as ‘demand for bribe, ‘bias in judgment’, ‘justice was sold for money’ and ‘delay proceedings and regular adjournment’ as some of the top factors why their experience was negative.

The poll shows that only about a third (33 percent) of Nigerians reposed any confidence at all in the Nigerian Judicial system, with only a sliver (4 percent) indicating a high level of confidence.

“On the whole, Nigerians were asked to rate the judicial system on a scale of 1-10 where 1 is very poor and 10 is excellent. A subpar nationwide score of 4.25 was ascribed to the Nigerian Judicial system”.

“This lack of confidence in the system may not be unconnected with the perceived level of corruption within the system, and based on previous rulings of publicly known cases”.

Nigerians were also asked their expectations of the judicial system and some of the top responses were; ‘Fear of God and sincerity to the oath of office’ (32 percent), ‘Stop giving pardons to corrupt politicians’ (20 percent), ‘Fair judgment for all citizens’ and ‘Overhaul and grant autonomy to the Nigerian Judicial system’ (at 15 percent each), a ‘corrupt-free judicial system’ (13 percent) among others”.

The poll also revealed that about two-thirds (63 percent) of Nigerians acknowledged being aware of the functions of the judicial system in Nigeria, as only 71 percent of males and 55 percent of females claimed to be aware of the functions of the judicial system in Nigeria.

The North-East region had the highest proportion of residents (52 percent) who were unaware of the functions of the Nigerian Judicial system, whereas the North-West had the least (25 percent).

“This reveals a knowledge gap in our society as almost 1 in 2 (45 percent) females, and over a third (37 percent) of Nigerians in general are unaware of the functions of one of the three arms of government as vested in the Nigerian Constitution”.

The poll however noted that addressing these pervasive concerns will garner public support and restore the eroding confidence in the judicial system.