Fellow Nigerians, the reported open bickering, wrangling and crises of confidence between the Chief Justice of Nigeria and the President of the Nigerian Court of Appeal are, no doubt, to say the least, most unfortunate and portend great danger for the system of administration of justice and the well-being of rule of law in Nigeria. I would not want to delve into the merits of the unprecedented, very unfortunate development, considering the obvious negative effects any further public discussion of, or comments on, the merit of the matter might have on the future of the entire machinery of administration of justice in Nigeria. All I would want to say now, and which I humbly suggest is meant for the ears of both the Honourable CJN and the respected President of the Court of Appeal, as well as all other stakeholders, is that, notwithstanding whose ox is gored, if indeed the squabble is true, then your Lordships should stay any further public comments thereon, and immediately initiate concrete steps to resolve the same in-house without any delay. The judiciary should resist all attempts to wash its dirty linen (if any) in public. Reason: unlike other institutions, and because of the pride of place it occupies in society, the judiciary has come to be applauded as the temple of justice, the last hope of the common man, a bastion of hope for sustenance of true democracy, rule of law and due administration of justice, the impartial arbiter, et cetera. This is because of public belief and confidence in the disposition and ability of the courts to dispense justice with utmost impartiality, notwithstanding whose ox is gored and ensure that in all cases, justice is not only done, but is seen clearly to be done. Judicial and other officers involved in the administration of justice must therefore engage and be seen to engage only in conducts and pronouncements that inspire, promote and sustain, rather retard, public confidence and respect. The comments we read today in the papers are far from the type that inspire and promote public confidence in the judiciary. Please, My Lords, please again, reconcile any differences in-house, for the sake of the future of this sacred institution. If public confidence in the temple of justice is eroded, there may be no hiding place for the common man. The impression already created in the minds of most reasonable men by this perceived in-fighting is dangerous. Please, bury your hatchets of quarrel or try to negotiate the reconciliation of your differences amicably, in the best interest of the institution you represent.
I know I am far too small to talk in this matter, much less advice you. But, I think I am a stake-holder, who, with tens of thousands of other colleagues, both at the Bench and the Bar, would stand to face the public ridicule and disgrace that might result from any justifiable public denigration of the institution of judiciary. As Andrew Jackson rightly declared, all the rights secured to the citizens under the Constitution are worth nothing, and a mere bubble, except guaranteed to them by an independent, virtuous and credible Judiciary.
Thanks, My Lords.
Lecturer, Nigerian Law School,
Victoria island, Lagos
0802 136 5545, [email protected] the
Because we dont want to subject the judiciary to ridicule should we now allow men who compromise judgement to sit on the bench? In as much as i respect your opinion the allegations of Salami is too serious to to be settled in house. Just as Andrew Jackson rightly declared,
All the rights secured to the citizens under the Constitution are worth nothing, and a mere bubble, except guaranteed to them by an independent, virtuous and credible Judiciary.
We need men of virtue and credibility in the judiciary were the common man without political backings will find justice.
My dear, the allegation of "compromising" judgments is still an allegation, a mere allegation, which has not been proved. Section 36 (5) of the 1999 Constitution therefore applies --- the suspect remains innocent unless the contrary is established in a court of law. Thanks all the same for ur reply.