Judicial staff to blame for corruption in Judiciary – Ilorin NBA Chairman
The chairman of the Ilorin branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Barrister Kamaldeen Gambari, asserted that the prevalence of corruption among the staff of the judiciary has been responsible for the inadequacies of the judicial system in the country.
Gambari made this remark during an interaction with journalists in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital. He alleged that both legal practitioners and litigants are at the mercy of some staff of the judiciary who exploit both parties.
Gambari, however, noted that there are some who perform their duties diligently among the judiciary staff without corrupt tendencies and assured that the NBA is doing its best to resist them.
In his words: “The exploitation is so endemic that legal practitioners and the litigants can hardly do anything free without some segment of these staff making some unholy demands either from the legal practitioners or the litigants.
“Every time they do this, as a Bar, we try to resist them, yet we have not achieved the intended result. We shall put this corruption tendency before the new acting Chief Judge, Justice Abiodun Ayodele Adebara when he resumes office properly.”
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Reacting to the alleged partisanship of some judges in politics, the NBA chairman argued that any judge who knows his onions, bearing in mind the codes of his office, will be cautious of his action as the ethics of the profession negates such action.
He described such actions as a disservice to the judiciary and capable of bringing their offices to disrepute.
Gambari said: “The ethics of their office prohibits that; if any one of them is found involved in that, it will be unfortunate, it is a great disservice to the judiciary and they are doing that at their own peril because that will bring the office they occupy to disrepute.
The NBA chairman added: “If truly there is corruption in the judiciary, I can vouch that we have no corrupt judge in Kwara State judiciary, all of our judges are full of integrity regardless of who the litigants are, they don’t bow to any pressure and they discharge their duties with utmost and purest of intentions based on the facts presented before them.”
Gambari further stressed the need for the government to exploit the experience of retired judges by incorporating them into other roles rather than letting their knowledge rot away.
He said this in reference to the recently retired chief judge of Kwara State, Justice Suleiman Durosinlorun Kawu, whom he described as highly knowledgeable, full of wisdom, mentally sound and full of fear of God in the discharge of his judicial duties.
“We will continue to push to get them engaged and useful for the state, starting from the Kwara State Government up to the Federal Government, especially through the National Judicial Council, NJC,” he added.
According to him: “At the Supreme Court, we’re having a number of judges fewer than we needed and there haven’t been any appointments and people are retiring every day, the versatile ones amongst these people can be made use of to fill these voids so that their knowledge shouldn’t be wasted.”
The state NBA Chairman also dismissed as spurious the claim of conflicts between the two units that make up the justice system, namely the Bar and the Bench, saying: “There should not be any conflict between the Bar and Bench as the two are like Siamese twins, we are conjoined from the start.”
He noted that “no one can be a member of the bench without being a lawyer first.”