…canvasses sanction for any of them found culpable
BY IKECHUKWU NNOCHIRI
ABUJA -Appalled that the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu and the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami, allowed their personal differences to attract scorn for the entire judicial system in the country, a member of Nigerian Inner Bar and Senior Advocate, Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama, SAN, weekend, urged the National Judicial Council, NJC, to impose stiff sanction on any of them found guilty of official misconduct, stressing that it was the only way to restore confidence of Nigerians on the sanctity of the judiciary.
Chief Gadzama, who stated this while addressing newsmen, maintained that the ongoing feud between the two judicial eggheads, had provided an ample opportunity for the third arm of government in the country to purge itself of corruption, even as he commended the duo for allowing themselves to be probed.
He, however, dismissed action of the judicial panel set-up by the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, to probe the alleged misconduct against the CJN and the PCA, as a wild goose chase, insisting that the decision of the legal body was inconsequential since it was bereft of the locus to sanction erring judicial officers in the country, a function, he said, could only be exercised by the NJC.
It would be recalled the NBA had on February 22, inaugurated a high-powered delegation, comprising 10 Senior Advocate of Nigeria, to investigate the plethora of allegations of corruption trailing the ongoing face-off between the CJN and PCA.
Gadzama faulted the action, contending that the NBA could only play an advisory role in the matter, just as he had equally rooted for a domestication of the Singaporean judicial model in Nigeria which, he said, postulates that whoever raised any form of allegation against anyone must be compelled by force of law to prove same or go to jail.
According to him, “it is a pity that this kind of thing is happening in the judiciary, we of the learned profession are not happy about it, but philosophically speaking, both Justice Katsina-Alu and Justice Salami are both human and they have their short falls.
“Despite the negative publicity this saga has attracted to the profession, I believe that it has also opened a golden opportunity for the judiciary to re-assert its authority and confirm to the world that it is ready to resolve its own problems and am happy that the CJN has allowed himself to be probed.