Salami: Judges engage in judgement fixing
Former president of Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami, said yesterday that corruption in the judiciary is real and has eaten deep into the system. He lamented that some senior and retired judges now engage in judgements fixing.
“They take money from litigants to give judges or intimidate judges to pervert justice,” he said.
He said Nigeria could adopt the Kenya approach in ridding the judiciary of corruption, adding that Kenya in its efforts to sanitize the judiciary suspended all the judges and set up a body to investigate them.
He said in line with the Kenya method, the suspended judges were asked to explain their controversial judgements and where they failed to do so, they were considered incompetent.
Salami, who was chairman at the formal opening ceremony of the 2014 biennial law week of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ilorin branch, appealed to judges who indulge in the practice of fixing verdicts to desist.
“The judges who lend themselves to this dishonourable practice of receiving money or lending themselves to perverting the course of justice under any guise should note that there are other means of checking their excesses”, he said.
He noted that although it is not all judicial officers that are corrupt and dishonourable, “there are those who are clearly identifiable as corrupt but they are protected by the system. There are also others who lack courage and their timidity is exploited to pervert the course of Justice”.
He lamented that many judges live in opulence in Nigeria, owning as much as 16 cars in addition to having “houses furnished with exotic furniture”.
Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, who declared the programme open, called for independence of the judiciary, saying the only panacea to growth and development is equity and justice.