Jus­tice Yunusa: ‘NJC hasn’t dealt with the mat­ter com­pletely’

Daily Trust - - LAW - By Ade­lanwa Bamg­boye

A non-profit mak­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion, Ac­cess to Jus­tice (A2J), has said the Na­tional Ju­di­cial Coun­cil (NJC) has not dealt with the Jus­tice Nasiru Yunusa’s is­sue as com­pletely and forthrightly as it could have done.

Joseph Ot­teh, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, Ac­cess to Jus­tice (A2J), stated this dur­ing a tele­phone in­ter­view with Daily Trust yes­ter­day.

This is com­ing on the heels of Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari’s al­le­ga­tion that the ju­di­ciary is yet to meet the pub­lic ex­pec­ta­tions in its fight against cor­rup­tion.

The pres­i­dent had noted that the cor­rup­tion cases filed by his ad­min­is­tra­tion are not pro­gress­ing due to de­lay tac­tics em­ployed by lawyers.

He ap­pealed to the ju­di­ciary to sup­port his ad­min­is­tra­tion’s fight against cor­rup­tion, adding that a well-func­tion­ing crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem sought to move the coun­try to­wards greater growth and de­vel­op­ment.

“I am wor­ried that the ex­pec­ta­tion of the pub­lic is yet to be met by the ju­di­ciary with re­gard to the re­moval of de­lay and the tol­er­a­tion of de­lay tac­tics by lawyers,” Buhari said.

A2J boss said the non-crim­i­nal ground upon which the NJC hinged Yunusa’s sus­pen­sion may have fore­closed bring­ing up any crim­i­nal al­le­ga­tion ex­cept there was ev­i­dence that could be used to cre­ate crim­i­nal mo­tive.

“I don’t see how much you can make from what NJC has done. If NJC found crim­i­nal trans­fer of money, Yunusa could have been sub­jected to crim­i­nal trial. NJC has not told us what it is do­ing with our pe­ti­tion,” he said.

He said once the NJC has taken ac­tion against a judge, then the anti- cor­rup­tion agen­cies don’t want to pur­sue the case to its log­i­cal limit.

Ac­cord­ing to Ot­teh, if the NJC pur­sued the mat­ter more than that, then it would be seen to be do­ing a new thing.

“NJC should in­ves­ti­gate all the al­le­ga­tions. If NJC should stop at one, it will not send a very strong mes­sage. Re­tire­ment is not enough dis­in­cen­tive even with the kind of en­tice­ment out there.

“NJC should look at both the crim­i­nal and non-crim­i­nal as­pects and it will be in a bet­ter place to fight cor­rup­tion in the ju­di­ciary and wield the stick,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to him, A2J also wrote a pe­ti­tion against Yunusa urg­ing the NJC to in­ves­ti­gate EFCC’s pub­lic al­le­ga­tions over crim­i­nal money trans­fer made against him.

Most of the lawyers who spoke to our correspondent said that Yunusa should be pros­e­cuted.

Abubakar Sani, a Kano-based ac­tivist said, “Yes, Jus­tice Yunusa should have his day in court. He is more than ca­pa­ble of de­fend­ing him­self.”

Bar­ris­ter Femi Aborisade said, “I agree that any judge found want­ing in the area of cor­rup­tion should not just be re­tired or dis­missed, such a per­son should equally be pros­e­cuted. How­ever, where the judge feels he has not been fairly treated, he or she also has the right to seek re­dress in the court of law.”

Ris­ing from its 77th meet­ing, July 15 this year, the Na­tional Ju­di­cial Coun­cil (NJC), un­der the chair­man­ship of the Chief Jus­tice of Nige­ria (CJN), Jus­tice Mah­mud Mo­hammed, an­nounced the sus­pen­sion of Jus­tice Mo­hammed Nasiru Yunusa of the Fed­eral High Court, Lagos Divi­sion.

Ac­cord­ing to Soji Oye, the NJC also rec­om­mended to Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari, the com­pul­sory re­tire­ment of Jus­tice Yunusa fol­low­ing the al­le­ga­tions con­tained in the petitions writ­ten against him by the Civil So­ci­ety Net­work Against Cor­rup­tion that he granted in­terim or­ders and per­pet­ual in­junc­tions, re­strain­ing the At­tor­ney-Gen­eral of the Fed­er­a­tion, the In­spec­tor Gen­eral of Po­lice, In­de­pen­dent Cor­rup­tion Prac­tices and Re­lated Of­fence Com­mis­sion (ICPC) and the Eco­nomic and Fi­nan­cial Crimes Com­mis­sion (EFCC) from ar­rest­ing, in­ves­ti­gat­ing and pros­e­cut­ing some per­sons ac­cused of cor­rup­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.