“Judiciary dies when it can easily be manipulated” – Wike tells Nigerian judges

0

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike says ineffective judicial performance can be blamed on lack of character, courage, and decency of some judges to live up to their judicial oaths in the discharge of their functions.

According to a statement by his media aide, Kelvin Ebiri, the governor made the remarks at the launch of the book, “Legal Paradigm in Nigeria: A New Direction in the Study of Law and Practise,” in honour of retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Hon. Justice Abdul Aboki, on Friday in Abuja.

Wike said due to prevailing political uncertainty in the country, democracy and the rule of law are under constant threat, hence, the judiciary must be alive to its responsibilities.

Wike emphasised that the country and its democracy can only survive if the judicial system is strong and alive.

He noted that the judiciary would be deemed dead when public confidence is lost in its ability to defend the rule of law and dispense free and equal justice to all.

“The judiciary dies where it lies comatose and removed from the aspirations of the citizens for good governance, the rule of law, the protection of fundamental rights and the guarantee of free and fair elections.

“The judiciary dies when it can easily be manipulated; when justice can be procured; when the injustice is rendered in place of justice to the aggrieved parties; or when resort to self-help and other means of redress outside the law becomes the preferred norm by citizens,” the governor said.

Wike added that despite the myriad of problems faced by the country, Nigerians could still trust the nation’s judiciary to save the country by guaranteeing justice, equity and equality to every citizen.

“Nevertheless, this is possible only when the judiciary is able to assert itself without fear or favour, upholding the truth at all times and standing up to any other power or principality that attempts to undermine or override its constitutional responsibilities, powers and processes.

“Justice could be delayed, which is not acceptable, but it must never be refused or denied for the judiciary to serve as an effective watchdog of our democracy and thwart the evil intentions of the enemies of the people,” he stated.

The Rivers State governor further asserted that effective and efficient justice delivery is imperative for defending democracy, sustaining the rule of law, protecting fundamental human rights and advancing economic development.

“Let us, therefore, continue to call on the Federal Government to strengthen our judiciary system by resolving the challenges militating against judicial effectiveness as I have done in Rivers State where we have continued to prioritize the independence of the judiciary and improved the working and living conditions of our judges beyond measure,” he said.

Wike also accused political parties and party leaders of exhibiting utter arrogance and disdain for the electoral laws and the democratic process in their actions and conduct.

According to him, Nigerians are becoming more and more apprehensive about the success of the forthcoming general elections, and the survival of the country’s democracy beyond 2023.

“The Federal Government continues to undermine the rule of law, while political parties and party leaders continue to exhibit utter arrogance and disdain for the electoral laws and the democratic process in their actions and conduct.

“With cries of injustices, discrimination and inequities everywhere and with the risen instability and deterioration of law and order, only the undiscerning would believe that Nigeria is not headed for the hard rocks,” he said.

The governor commended Justice Aboki for his illustrious career, immeasurable service and contributions to the growth of the legal profession, democracy, the rule of law and the progress of the country.

He described Justice Aboki as a consummate jurist who has left his name indelibly etched in the sands of time and judicial history.

“While judges are of different social, economic and political persuasions, Hon. Justice Aboki prides himself among the progressive rank that stands up for what is right and just and believes that the law and the constitution as interpreted and enforced by the courts must both protect and advance the unity and well-being of the nation and its people,” Wike said.

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.