CRACK IN NIGERIA'S JUDICIARY, AN INVITATION TO ANARCHY
The history of the Nigerian Judiciary since independence had seen characterised with corruption, political interference, favouritism, fearfulness and egoism. Nigerians would not forget in a hurry when a High Court judge, delivering a judgment said, his hands were tied or when the Supreme Court delivered a judgment and indicated that that judgment should not be cited as legal authority in any other cases in future.
That showed the level of interference with our judicial system by the politicians. The adventure of the military into governance between 1966 and 1998 was the last straw that broke the judiciary's back, after it had succeeded in mauling down politics, royalty and our collective sensibility.
But recently, the judiciary stood on its two feet to uphold justice. Some of their landmark judgments rekindled Nigeria's hope that indeed, the judiciary is the last hope of the common man. However, the crack in the judiciary in the last few weeks has given it a devastating blow, which serves as an invitation to anarchy in Nigeria. Those behind the crack are the same military men and a few political cabals, who had removed their uniforms and again usurped the political authority of the country.
Apart from the military incursion into politics that is having devastating consequences on the judiciary, there are some subterranean influences that do not help matters, involving the judges or magistrates either financially or through relationship. The lawyers also are not helping matters either. And, finally, there is crack in the judiciary and the cracking of its wall is capable of spelling doom for the country. It's an invitation to anarchy in Nigeria.
I praise the courage of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Alloysius Katsina-Alu, who confessed that he contacted Justice Isa Ayo Salami of the Court of Appeal for security reasons on the election petition in Sokoto State on the mater before the judges who were deciding the petition. That invariably confirmed Justice Salami's allegation that the Chief Justice contacted him to interfere in the Sokoto matter..
If Salami had agreed with the Chief Justice, the matter would not have come to the public domain in the first place. However, as the situation in the judiciary has degenerated into a mess, wise counsel should prevail because the nation cannot afford a disorganised judiciary because judiciary is the last hope of the common man and it should not be politicised as it's being done now. A word is enough for the wise.