Daily Trust - - FEATURE -

can­not be con­sid­ered as a case of com­pe­tence but dis­hon­esty.”

“Aris­ing from this par­tic­u­lar is­sue is lack of so­phis­ti­ca­tion on the part of our lit­i­gants or ac­cused per­sons. If a court brazenly vi­o­lates the con­sti­tu­tion in or­der to vest it­self a ju­ris­dic­tion which it does not pos­sess it can­not claim to be act­ing bona fide. It is clearly act­ing mala fide which an adroit coun­sel can ex­ploit to bring an ac­tion in tort against such a judge or mem­bers of the court deal­ing with his client’s case in bad faith.”

The com­ment by Salami, ac­cord­ing to many an­a­lysts, re­flects the per­va­sive­ness and ubiq­uity of cor­rup­tion in Nigeria. It there­fore be­comes wor­ri­some when the men­ace now spreads to the tem­ple of jus­tice.

Re­act­ing to Salami’s re­marks, for­mer Chief Jus­tice of Nigeria, Dahiru Mus­da­pher who was a spe­cial guest of hon­our at an­other event or­gan­ised the fol­low­ing day by the Fac­ulty of Law, Univer­sity of Ilorin, said it would be scan­dalous if the state­ment was true.

How­ever, he con­fessed that the sys­tem is so bad nowa­days ow­ing to des­per­a­tion by of­fi­cers to be­come judges. “In those days people do not even ask to be ap­pointed judges. The mere fact that you asked to be ap­pointed a judge, you have disqual­i­fied yourself”, he said, adding, “All kinds of people find their ways into be­com­ing 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.”

How­ever, Gover­nor Ahmed who noted that the only panacea to growth and de­vel­op­ment is eq­uity and jus­tice said Nigeria ju­di­ciary must main­tain its neu­tral­ity and im­par­tial­ity.

“I urge the ju­di­ciary to main­tain its im­par­tial­ity, re­sist the temp­ta­tion to de­scend into the arena at all times, pro­mote strict ad­her­ence to the rule of law and up­hold the in­de­pen­dence of the ju­di­ciary as safe­guards against po­lit­i­cal in­ter­fer­ence and ma­nip­u­la­tion,” Ahmed added.

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