Okey Wali, SAN
The recent decision by the National Judicial Council to recommend the retirement of two Judges is probably the strongest evidence yet that a new administrator is now in charge and that business will not, under her, be as usual, writes Joseph Chu’ma Otteh
“No system of justice can rise above the ethics of those who administer it”
The recent decision by the National Judicial Council (NJC) to recommend the retirement of two Judges is probably the strongest evidence yet that a new administrator is now in charge and that business will not, under her, be as usual. The NJC has finally brought to definite closure matters which had smouldered for an interminably arduous period, some of them, since 2008, like the case of Hon. Justice Thomas Naron, against whom petitions had been unresolved by the Council since 2008! What this reinforces to us is that leadership is what tips the scale concerning how an institution delivers on its mandate.
In this piece, we explore how the NJC can go the full distance with its current resolve, and outline the challenges that the Council should, in its new incarnation, should take on as a matter of urgency, to restore confidence in the Nigerian justice system again.
Restore Credibility to the NJC
The NJC’s credibility has been a key issue in the fight to make the Judiciary function accountably and ethically. Just a few years ago, we all thought that the problems within the Judiciary were down to its lack of independence and its inadequate funding. Let’s recall what the Eso Panel Report said on this, that “… the root cause of all the problems of the Nigerian Judiciary was its total dependence on the Executive and its consequent treatment by the latter as a mere parastatal of the executive arm of government – a department of the Ministry of Justice”. READ MORE