How Lawyers, Judges Are Slowing Down Nigeria’s Anti-Corruption War- Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said the judiciary arm of government was yet to perform its functions to the satisfaction of Nigerians given the reforms brought about by the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.

Mr. Buhari stated this at the National Judicial Institute, Abuja, while declaring open a Workshop for Nigerian Judges organized by the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption in conjunction with the NJI.

The President also said the Judiciary must take steps to ensure that it was not perceived as being partisan.

He said Judges must be aware of the sensitivities of the public and take steps towards avoiding even a shred of a doubt regarding their independence.

“In justice, integrity is a necessity. Hence, Judicial Officers and all other members of this sector must always demonstrate manifest integrity,” he said.

Mr. Buhari advised the judiciary to be in the forefront of efforts to develop rights-based jurisprudence as an element in the multi-disciplinary approach advocated in the fight against corruption.

He said as an arm of government, the judiciary had a role to play in the fight against corruption by enforcing the applicable laws.

“Critically important also, is the sacred duty of the judiciary to ensure that criminal justice administration is not delayed,” Mr. Buhari said.

“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.

“When cases are not concluded the negative impression is given that crime pays. So far, the corruption cases filed by government are not progressing as speedily as they should in spite of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act of 2015 essentially because the courts allow some lawyers to frustrate the reforms introduced by law,” he said.

Mr. Buhari said the scenario such as the one he painted must change for his administration to succeed in its fight against corruption.

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Groups, Divisions In APC Slowing Down Buhari– Bode George

A leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former deputy chair­man of the party, Chief Olabode George has urged Nigerians to be patient with President Muham­madu Buhari as he grap­ples with the myriads of problems confronting the country.

George, who said he has refrained from joining is­sues with him because, “it is just a year and person­ally, I don’t believe this is the time to start kicking them”, described Nigeri­ans as “ very impatient.”

He identified the con­gregation of different groups in the party which has defied proper fusion as the major cause of the many problems afflicting the government which has slowed down progress. Describing the President’s All Progressives Congress (APC) as a “congregation of strange bed fellows”, he averred that the instabil­ity in the party has frus­trated the expectations and hopes of Nigerians on the government, adding that, “if you don’t have a solid political foundation, for­get about any economic growth.”

George further advised the APC not to make the mistake of the PDP by al­lowing these crises and di­visions, which he blamed for the latter’s ouster from government in the 2015 presidential elections.

“For me, it is still too early. Understandably, they came from differ­ent groups that make up the party. They are still struggling…politics and political activities are the foundation for economic growth.

“If you don’t have a solid political foundation, forget about any econom­ic growth. It is sine qua non. There is CPC, ACN, APGA, nPDP. It is a con­gregation of strange bed­fellows. It will take time for them to melt together.

“We don’t want to go into that crises and divi­sions, because we know what happened to our party that we got a bloody nose. Thank God it was not a technical knockout”

On the crises rocking the PDP ahead of its Na­tional Convention in May, George blamed it on indi­viduals and groups who have put their ambitions before other consider­ations including the par­ty’s constitution.

He advised the party to stick to the report of the Ike Ekweremadu’s com­mittee report which had been adopted by the Na­tional Executive Commit­tee (NEC) of the party.

According to him, the committee zoned the pres­idential slot for the 2019 elections to the north, the vice president to the south, the Senate president to the North, the Speaker of the House to the south, the Secretary to the Govern­ment of the Federation to the North, and the Nation­al Chairman to the south.

He vowed to challenge any alteration of this ar­rangement which he said was devised in the interest of equity, fairness and the corporate existence of the nation, with every legal means at his disposal.

Credit: Sun