BY DEMOLA AKINYEMI
ILORIN—A Professor of Law in the University of Ilorin, Wahab Egbewole has faulted the present composition of Nigerian Judicial Commission, NJC, saying that it cannot guarantee a corrupt- free judiciary in the country.
Egbewole however, suggested that in order to enthrone a corrupt-free judiciary in the country, any judicial officer caught for corruption should be tried and jailed without any option of fine.
He spoke at the 139th inaugural lecture of the university with the theme, “Judex: Hope for the hopeful and the hopeless,” adding that “for the judiciary to assist the society, it must cleanse itself of corrupt elements.
“My view on the present composition is that the membership and spread is okay the way it is but the retired justices be restricted to past chief justices of Nigeria and past presidents of the Court of Appeal in order of seniority of retirement from service to be retained.”
He further called for training and retraining of judicial staff for effective service delivery.
According to him,”it takes the deep to call the deep, for the 21st century judiciary in Nigeria, the present formation of the NJC cannot deliver.
“The Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies should be mandated to rework the curriculum and get a mix of academic, legal practitioners and seasoned judicial officers to deliver the modules.”
Egbewole also canvassed that judicial officers should be made to work under a very conducive environment to shield them from corruption in any form and asked governments at all levels, not only to fund the judiciary well but make them self-accounting instead of the present situation where the third arm of government would always go cap in hand to government for all their needs. He called for the amendment to 1999 Constitution on the composition of the NJC.