The decision of the National Judicial Council, NJC to constitute a panel on allegations of misconduct against 15 Nigerian judges has been welcomed and commended by the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL.
“The country really has the dire need to ensure through every constitutional means that the judiciary is corruption-free and impermeable to misconducts including self-cleansing as been demonstrated by the NJC with decision to set the panel.”
“We expect that thoroughness will be done in the process such that the culpable judges faces the required lawful consequence/s to deter some others who apparently have become wayward and inevitably tarnishing the hitherto respectful image of the judiciary.” Said Mr. Debo Adeniran, Executive Chairman of CACOL while commending the NJC.
“We had several reasons in the past to criticize the NJC for what we considered as not measuring up to the standard expected of such as body particularly on disciplining erring judges. But we see this as a good sign if the body can build further on it and to ensure the logical conclusion on the cases. So we want to see more of these steps; as matter of fact, they should be consistent.”
“This step by the NJC is one of the reasons we have consistently advocated for reforms in the judicial system including the creation of Special courts for corruption cases to facilitate the enabling environment for the successful prosecution of the anti-corruption war because we had always seen the loose end vis-à-vis the judiciary in terms of anti-corruption. With a judiciary free of corruption and abhorrence for misconduct, the battle against corruption will definitely yield bountiful fruits.”
Media reports on Tuesday revealed the NJC said that 15 judges including two chief judges are being investigated for alleged violation of the code of conduct for judicial officers. The decision was taken at the 83rd Council meeting of the body presided over by the Chief Justice of the Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen. The NJC decided to investigate the judges after considering reports of two preliminary complaints assessment committees on 46 petitions written against judicial officers at both the federal and state levels.
“Judiciary is the last hope of the common people; in a situation where the Judiciary can longer serve the purpose of its creation, it becomes useless, and self-help is becomes the only hope which is a recipe for anarchy. This decision is one of the ways to go forward in cleansing the judiciary and the society generally.” Adeniran concluded