Autonomy or Autotomy? -By Abubakar D. Sani, Esq
Wonders, it is said
Shall never end
Such is the rot
In virtually every sphere
Of our national life
That even the judiciary
Is not spared
As is clearly writ large
By the on-going industrial action
Supposedly by the Judicial Staff Union
But, who – strangely – are non-judicial staff
Over financial control – or lack thereof
To use the popular phrasing:
Or unfettered access to funds
An end to the present practice
Where the courts are tied
To the apron strings
Of the Executive
Notwithstanding the clear provisions
Of the Constitution
As severally interpreted
In subsisting court judgements
What does this say
About our belief in the rule of law?
Are the three arms of Government truly equal?
Why is the control of judges pay –
Not under their hand
But, is, rather, subject to the whims and caprices
Of the Executive
Whilst the Legislature seemingly cannot be bothered?
This ‘conspiracy of silence’
Has lent credence
To the suspicion, in some quarters
That the situation suits the other two arms
Predictably, the strike has hit
Counsel and litigants most hard
Prompting the latter to march in solidarity
Which was, unfortunately, undermined by a ‘typo’ in the banner
Displayed by protesting members
Of the Abuja (the so-called ‘Unity’) Bar
A cruel twist on the strike’s mantra
Achieved simply by switching a letter!
Promptly debunked – of course
As the product of a mischievous photoshop
But, seriously, when
Will this cycle end?
What does it take for the Executive
To observe ‘international best practices’
In the funding of our judiciary?
A new dimension? Some fresh thinking?
An elite consensus?
What is wrong with this one?
What is wrong with us?
In other words,
Perhaps the problem
Is our mind-set:
Our pervasive obsession –
At all levels – personal and otherwise
And everything to do with it
For us, yes! To others, we deny
It is a sad irony, indeed
That those who wield
The power of life and death
Are – over their own – shockingly helpless
So, when next we grumble
About the so-called rot in the system
All we need do
Is a quick reality check:
Tell ourselves some home truths
Even if in the language of ‘the cool’:
‘Wake up and smell the coffee!’
Perhaps, we are our own worst enemies.
Abubakar D. Sani, Esq.
22nd April, 2021
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07044444999 or 08181999888. Visit our website: www.alexandernigeria.com/
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