By Rotimi Ojomoyela
Ado-Ekiti-Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has declared that for battle against corruption to be successful, there is the need for a complete and total over hauling of the nation’s judiciary.
Fayose lamented that Nigerian judiciary, which ought to be the last hope of common man has been compromised, saying, most judgements in Nigeria today are monetised. If the battle against corruption can be won between the Bar and the Bench, it will be won in the society.
The governor, who spoke at a church service held at the Cathedral Church of Emmanuel, Ado Ekiti to usher in the 2015/2016 legal year, said “for Nigeria to move forward and for us to have a just society, the judiciary has a major role to play and must be seen to be doing so”.
Also in his sermon, the Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Anglican Communion, Christopher Omotunde, admonished members of the judiciary to allow the fear of God to guide them while passing judgment.
The bishop said, “As you go and preside over the destiny of others, remain impartial and discharge your duties with the fear of God.”
Fayose asserted that getting a just judgment in Nigeria judiciary has become a scarce commodity, “due to the cancer of financial inducement that has eaten deep into the fabric of our judicial system, it is only in Nigeria that a political armed robbers will orchestrate the trial of somebody before a corrupt judge, all in the name of waging anti- corruption war.
“When there are glaring facts on the table of anti-corruption agencies, they will pretend not to see or look the other way especially if the culprit is a member of their political party or under the directive of power that be.
That is why some judges are timid in giving judgments against the ruling party of the day.
Such individuals are judged on the pages of newspaper and consequently confirmed by the willing judges”
Fayose expressed concern over the refusal of the federal Government to try the Yobe Resident Electoral Commissioner, despite the incriminating evidence that was established against him.
“Take for instance, after so many evidence before the EFCC that the bank account of the Yobe Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) was credited with money to influence the last governorship election, no action was taken because it is an APC-controlled state.
“It is only in Nigeria that when banks rip-off institutions, they will negotiate with the judiciary. It is only in Nigeria that judges will say they cannot deliver judgement due to the prevailing environment.
“The corruption in the judiciary is so endemic that judges lobby to be appointed to serve in election petition tribunals in order to make money and as well influence judgement in favour of their political friends.
“It gets more worrisome when facts have revealed that most of these judgements were written by lawyers for some compromised judges. Some judges also have cases assigned to them to do hatched job thereby descending into the arena of unwholesomeness.
“Other instances are when judges have to recommend lawyers to clients. A lot of human rights activist lawyers have been working in agreement with some judges to destroy the lives of innocent Nigerians for pecuniary benefits and cheap popularity”.
He, however admitted that there are still some credible and incorruptible judges whose conducts are commendable in the Nigerian judiciary.
Fayose, who said he would never influence judgement or call any judge for favour, therefore called on judges to understand that after here, there is another judgement.