Should Nigerian Judges Be Pitied And Their Battles Fought For Them By Lawyers Or Should They Fight Their Own Battles Against The Executive Arm And Assert Their Powers? -By Job Dangana
Are Nigerian Judges under the judicial arm enjoying their status as an independent arm of government? Are they suffering any discomfort that affects or reduces the status as specialised arm of government?Or is the judiciary doing well and have no issues that has affected it’s performance and respect from Nigerians?
If the answers to the above questions are in the positive, who should fight the battle for them? Is it lawyers or the Judges themselves that should fight the battles?
For me, why should Nigerian lawyers speak for the Nigerian Judges? The Nigerian lawyers are already burdened with their own problems, mostly inflicted by themselves such as their usual breach of professional ethics and lack of enforcement sanctions against the culprits.
In my humble opinion, Nigerian lawyers cannot speak for the Judges, because the two groups are not supposed to be that so close in such venture, since such collaborative actions by lawyers could compromise the Judges.
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Who said that Judges cannot speak and fight for themselves in Nigeria? Are they not supposed to be an independent arm of government in a democracy? Judges ought to be the most powerful and feared arm of government in a democracy, and particularly in the Nigerian democracy due to Nigerian usual flawed elections and the active role of the judges in resolving election disputes through the judicial process . The Judges have the power to revoke election results declared by INEC.
But what have the Judges done with their enormous judicial powers to assert their own importance and strategic role in the democracy?
The Nigerian Judges threw away their constitutional power through alleged financial corruption by allegedly accepting bribes from politicians and elected political office holders in the executive and legislative arms which made them a disrespected people by the bribe givers and secondly, by their lack of courage to assert and exercise their judicial powers. Therefore, the reality is that after the judiciary allegedly enters into dirty deals with the executive and legislative arms of government, the members of the two arms of government no longer have respect for Judges/Judiciary.
Think of this scenario. Assuming the Supreme Court Justices had annulled the fraudulent elections by INEC and removed at least two presidents from office since 1999 through their judgements in the openly flawed elections, why won’t the Nigerian Judges (judiciary) be respected by both the executive and the legislative arms? But did the Supreme Court Justices do it even when the elections were always flawed and glaring to Nigerians? Unfortunately, what we have seen since since 1999 is that the Judges keep validating openly rigged presidential and governorship elections for whatever reasons( people allege corruption and lack of courage to to their work) by using technicalities of the law to keep the president and governors in office since. So, why should the judiciary be respected in Nigeria by the executive and the legislative arms of government?
In my opinion, it is the Nigerian judiciary had cheapened itself and it is only they that can rediscover themselves and restore themselves, and not lawyers coming to fight their battles for them.
Look at the rampant flagrant disobedience of court orders by the executive arm of government while the courts watch helplessly? Can’t the Judges who give judgement and orders use the powerful positions to ensure that all their judgements and orders are obeyed before they further attend to cases brought to them by the executive arm? This is very simple to do. If a Judge gives an order which is disobeyed by the police or DSS or ICPC, the court will simply refuse to attend to further cases brought to the court by these agencies until they have obeyed the earlier judgements and orders. But no, Nigerian Judges won’t do that. They are not pained and angry that the cases they spend time and energy to do have been rendered nugatory by the institutions in the executive arm of government in particular and sometimes the executive arm.
Was it not the Supreme Court Justices of Pakistan that went on national strike and demonstration about 2 years ago against obnoxious display of power by the executive arm in that country? Those Justices of the Supreme Court of Pakistan are Judges that know about national interest and how to fight to protect it and preserve their own strategic position in the government of the country – Pakistan.
This is my sincere views on how it is the Nigerian judiciary is the one that made themselves foot mats for the executive and legislative arms of government to trample on recklessly.
Please, my apologies to our classmates who are Judges here, if I offend them by my opinion, but I am just speaking the truth based on my observations and thoughts.
– Job Dangana
A Nation Builder
October 31, 2023