New AGF should ensure that justice is expeditiously done- Niyi Adegbonmire, SAN Whoever that will be the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) should look at issues begging for attention. One of such issues is judicial reform, in times of how it operates in our various courts. He will need to ensure that justice is expeditiously done. The second thing is the appointment of judicial officers.
The Attorney General should also pay attention to that to ensure that those appointed to the bench are credible persons. Insurgents should be given speedy trial- Patrick Okolo, SAN There are lots of criminal cases awaiting prosecution.
Many Boko Haram suspects have been arrested and they are in detention without trial. That is why the international community is worried about how we observe human rights in this country.
Today we have about 1,600 lawyers; they are on the streets doing nothing. So these Boko Haram suspects should be brought out and be prosecuted so that those that are to go to jail will go to jail and those that are to be killed will be killed. But we detain them without trial.
If somebody has given his confessional statement, what are we waiting for? Once these Boko Haram suspects are arrested, they should be taken to court in the next four hours. Now there is no record of any conviction. These are things that the coming AGF should address urgently to raise the name of Nigeria.
New AGF should be assertive- Goddy Uche, SAN
I expect the incoming Attorney General to be above board. I do not want to indict the former AGFs. But in all respect to them, they have been so much on the side of government. The AGF should be an adviser to the government and must be grounded. He must be a man of integrity. The new AGF should be able to put his feet on the ground and say no to the president, if the president wants to formulate a bad policy.
New AGF should properly guide Buhari on fights against corruption- Chief Morah Ekwunoh
The acclaimed anti-corruption mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari, naturally, presents his Attorney-General, more than any other Minister, as the mirror, litmus test, shining light and beacon through which success in tackling, among others, the hot issue of hydra-headed monster of crushing corruption which, no doubt, has not only eaten deep into our national fabric but has left the country, most regrettably, at a tipping point, will be evaluated.
To this extent, the new AGF should immediately hit the ground running, with his eyes on the ball throughout the President’s tenure, by, inter alia, properly guiding him and his reformative administration towards the paths of relentless fights against corruption in all its shapes and forms. Although this should not be in a soldiering form, as obtainable in the military.
Particularly, the new AGF should look at the area of financial votes for the judiciary, since situations where heads of our courts at both federal and state levels go cap-in-hand and often on bent knees to the executives for misery titration of their much-needed and constitutionally entitled and allocated funds, which clearly infringe on the independence and efficient operation of the judiciary.
Also, the incoming AGF should work towards eradication of snail-speed justice administration and replacement thereof with fast-track system, since the aphorism of justice delayed being justice denied is immutable and towards elimination of corruption within the judiciary, since in the words of Lord Denning, “a corrupt judge poses the greatest danger to the society.”
In summary, the Attorney-General should know and appreciate, more than anybody else, that failure or success of the President, mainly in the fight against corruption, depends on him and his office, which can in the end leave his name etched in gold, infamy or ignominy when history dissects President Buhari’s second coming.
The incoming AGF should have regard for public interest- Ezekiel Lasbury-Asuk
Essentially the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and in fact any nation state is pivotal in the dispensation and execution of Justice. Hence, members of the legal profession have certain expectations that any prospective appointee for the said post should have as this Ministerial position is also referred to as the office of the Nation’s principal legal officer.
One of the succinct expectations is that the prospective appointee is expected to ensure that administration of public affairs is in accordance with the law. Hence, legal professionals anticipate the appointee for the office of the Attorney general of the federation would have his/her primary focus on upholding the rule of law and ensuring that all persons in society regardless of their political, social and/or economic status are treated equally before the eyes of the law.
Also, whilst it is acknowledged that the nation’s grund norm grants the Attorney General some level of immunity, it is expected that he/she exhibit some level of regard of public interest and policy in the conduct of legal proceedings especially that of criminal proceedings. Where the Attorney General executes his/her constitutional prerogative it should be done in a manner that is transparent in the eyes of the nation at large and builds up the faith of confidence of our legal system.
Another expectation is that the appointed Attorney General should put in place certain policies and execution measures to ensure that matters presented before the court are prosecuted in a diligent, innovative and efficient manner. For instance, the existence of advanced forensic scientific measures in the presentation of evidence.
This, in fact, can potentially open an economic avenue for experts and specialists who will like to offer their services to the ministry of justice. Perhaps, it will be an avenue for job creation. Furthermore, the prospective minister should ensure that all matters emanating from its office are thoroughly reviewed.
New AGF should ensure that the judiciary is purely kept away from politics — Ibisi George
I am expecting someone who would bring about expeditious dispensation of justice in this noble profession, someone who would allow justice prevail and bring about changes in the judicial system. Considering the pedigree of President Muhammadu Buhari and his appointments so far, I strongly believe that he is going to appoint as Attorney General of the Federation someone who possesses the requisite knowledge to ensure that things are kept in order.
The number one issue posed to judiciary since democracy is utmost independency. The judiciary is a separate arm of government and should be kept away strictly from politics. This is one of the reasons why some school of thought would say that the bench is being politically affected.
Take for instance, the Katsina Alu and Ayo Salami case, it was strictly politically influenced which is not meant to be so. The judiciary still remains the only reliable arm of government. The moment the judiciary collapses the country ceases to exist. The new AGF should ensure that the judiciary is purely kept away from politics and see that justice is done in everything.
Secondly, the judiciary has to work hand-in-hand with the legislative. We have laws in this country but the problem is its implementation. I see no reason why a non lawyer should be a senator. At least 90% of the senators should be lawyers so that they can together with the judiciary and make good laws. One of the duties of a lawmaker maker is the consequence of any law that is to be made, which a non lawyer will not know.