Musdapher links desperation for appointments to decay in judiciary
Former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Dahiru Musdapher, yesterday blamed the decay in the judiciary on desperation by officers to become judges.
He said things have become so bad that many people including those who are not competent, are now desperate to become judges. He was responding to retired president of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami’s statement in a chat with newsmen in Ilorin during the public lecture and launch of a journal in honour of a retired Supreme Court judge, Justice Bola Ajibola, organised by the Law Students’ Society of the University of Ilorin.
Salami had said in Ilorin Tuesday during the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) programme accused judges of engaging in “despicable” acts of judgement fixing.
Reacting to the statement, Justice Musdapher said it would be scandalous if the allegation is true, noting that desperation and lobbying for appointment as judges had undermined the judiciary.
“In those days people did not even ask to be appointed judges. The mere fact that you asked to be appointed a judge, you disqualified yourself”, he said.
He alleged that some influential people in the society also made the case for their relations to be appointed judges. “All kinds of people find their ways to become judges. Just as I said, the legal practice itself either on the bench or outside must be done with the sense of decency and sense of justice. That is what is done everywhere”, he said. He urged lawyers to have a change of attitude and bear in mind that they cannot win all cases being prosecuted. The guest lecturer, Mr. Bamidele Aturu, described the ongoing national conference as a waste of time, saying, “It is clear if you see what they are doing, they are not debating things that will affect ordinary Nigerians. I have given them agenda, my agenda. The agenda if they want to be serious is to make what I call wage structuring in Nigeria. They should abolish oil blocs in Nigeria”.