Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has attributed the ineffective judicial performance to the lack of character, courage and decency of some judges to live up to their judicial oaths in the exercise of their functions.
Wike said that due to the prevailing political uncertainty in the country, democracy and the rule of law are under constant threat, and therefore the judiciary must be aware of its responsibilities.
He made the comments at the launch of the book “Legal Paradigm in Nigeria: A New Direction in the Study of Law and Practice”, in honor of retired Supreme Court Justice Hon. Justice Abdul Aboki, on Friday in Abuja.
Wike in a statement from his media assistant, Kelvin Ebiri, stressed that the country and its democracy can only survive if the justice system is strong and vibrant.
He noted that the judiciary will be considered dead when public confidence is lost in its ability to defend the rule of law and grant free and equal justice to all.
The statement reads: “The judiciary dies where it lies in a comatose state and removed from the citizens’ aspirations 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 be easily manipulated; when justice can be obtained; when the injustice is brought to justice instead of justice to the injured parties; or when resorting to self-help and other remedies outside the law becomes the preferred norm by citizens.”
The governor said that despite the myriad of problems facing the country, Nigerians can still rely on the country’s judiciary to save the country by guaranteeing justice, equity and equality for every citizen.
“Nevertheless, this is only possible when the judiciary is able to assert itself without fear or favour, uphold the truth at all times and stand up to any other power or principality attempting to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities, powers and processes. to undermine or nullify.
“Justice can be delayed, which is not acceptable, but it must never be denied 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 further asserted that effective and efficient administration of justice is absolutely necessary for defending democracy, supporting the rule of law, protecting basic human rights and promoting economic development.
“Let us therefore continue to call on the federal government to strengthen our justice system by solving the challenges that argue for the effectiveness of the judiciary, as I did in Rivers State, where we have continued to prioritize the independence of the judiciary and working and living conditions have improved. circumstances of our judges excessive,” Wike said.
He also accused political parties and party leaders of showing utter arrogance and disregard for electoral laws and the democratic process in their actions and behaviour.
According to him, Nigerians are becoming increasingly apprehensive about the success of the upcoming general election 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 display utter arrogance and disregard for electoral laws and the democratic process in their actions and behavior.
“With cries of injustice, discrimination and inequality everywhere and with the increased instability and deterioration of law and order, only ignorance would believe that Nigeria is not headed for the hard rocks,” he added.
The governor praised Hon. Justice Aboki, for his illustrious career, immeasurable service and contributions to the growth of the legal profession, democracy, the rule of law and the advancement of the country.
Wike described Hon. Judge Aboki, as an accomplished lawyer who has indelibly etched his name in the sands of time and legal history.
“While judges have different social, economic and political beliefs, Hon. Judge Aboki prides itself on the progressive rank of standing up for what is right and just and believes that the law and constitution, as interpreted and enforced by the courts, should both protect and promote the unity and well-being of the nation and its people, ” he said.
Governor Wike thanked those who took the initiative to carefully compile the book. According to him, the book will provide an insightful measure of the life, career and philosophical undercurrents that underlie Hon. Justice Aboki’s approach and views on matters such as law, society, judgment and justice.
For his part, Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello commended Judge Aboki for his faithful service to the nation.
He also praised Governor Wike for his tenacity and ability to speak the truth to power.