Justice Administration in Nigeria is under Pressure from Elites – Vice President Osinbajo

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Nigeria’s vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has accused elites in the country of undue influence over the appointment of Judges.

The vice president expressed his views during a Webinar on Saturday titled, “Selection and Appointment of Judges: Lessons for Nigeria,” organised by the Justice Research Institute.

According to the vice president, the Justice administration in Nigeria is under immense pressure from Elites who are bent on using any means to get ahead of other Nigerians.

According to VP Osinbajo, the elites want to own and control things in the country, including the judges.

The vice President said; “We have an elite and when I speak of the elite, I speak of the Nigerian elite both political, religious, commercial/business, etc. Everyone wants to get ahead, we want to own things, we want to control things and we want to own the judges too.”

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“The Nigerian elite want to be sure of all the outcomes and they want all the outcomes to favour them. That is the same pressure that we have with respect to the federal character.

So the federal character is no longer necessarily seen as choosing the best from a particular zone or a particular state; it is the interest in that state or that zone who want to further their own purposes that would want to come together to ensure that the person who is appointed is not necessarily the best, but he is the one that is most suited to their own purposes. This is the problem that we have.”

Professor Osinbajo urged that there must be a consensus regarding the appointment of qualified judicial officers among legal luminaries, the judiciary, executive, legislature as well as the elites themselves.

“If we leave it to the system that is going on at the moment; we are clearly headed in the wrong direction because interest whether private, political or group influences how judges are appointed.” The Vice President concluded.

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