By Bashir Bello
KANO — A Lecturer and Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Law, Bayero University Kano, BUK, Dr. Nuhu Idris has said that a corrupt judge is more harmful to society than a bandit.
This was as he said 80 percent of corrupt practices in the judicial system were carried out by the administrative supporting staff of the judiciary which tends to dent the image of the sector.
Dr. Idris stated this during a one-day continuing legal education training on the Administration of Criminal Justice Law, ACJL 2019, and other anti-corruption legislative frameworks organized by the Kano State branch of the International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA with support from the MacArthur Foundation.
According to him, “the corruption in the Judiciary system can be divided into two namely administrative and operational. The bulk of the corruption, 80 percent is that by the administrative supporting staff but the perception of the society is that the judges are corrupt unknowing to them that it is the administrative components that made the system look like a more corrupt system.
“About 20 percent of the indices were from the judicial. That too is high because it is an institution that we expect to be zero tolerance for corruption. A judge is a person of a higher caliber and should be respected and expected to be trustworthy.
“All mechanisms for the disciplinary action are there but not put to use. Most of the judicial staff are going unpunished not because there is no law in place to punish them but because the political will to punish them is lacking. That’s why people are looking at the judiciary as a system without checks.
“The way out to prevent the corrupt practice in the Judiciary is autonomy for the Judiciary. Let the Judiciary be independent, their financial autonomy must be granted if you want to see changes. Because when you have a corrupt judge, is more harmful and dangerous in the society than a bandit,” he noted.
He continued when he said Kano State is yet to fully implement the provisions by the ACJL citing instance with the case of a late school pupil, little Hanifa Abubakar where the killers were taken to the Magistrate court by police with First Information Report, FIR.
“By May 2019 when the ACJL law was enacted in Kano State, we are supposed to change our method of presenting suspect in court, especially in such high profile cases, murder, robbery, rape … If the police want to take such person to court, they shouldn’t do that with FIR but go with an application that we are conducting the investigation on this person and so we need time to complete investigation. Because by constitution we can’t detain him in the cell for more than two days, we want the court to remand him for so and so days to enable us to conclude our investigation.
“Kano was yet to come to terms with the provision of law. They are still trying and battling to come to terms with the provision,” Idris however noted.
Earlier, the Program Officer, FIDA /Mac Arthur Project, Bar. Fatima Ahmad said the activity was organized for members of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) from across the Bar, Bench, and the Criminal Justice Sector to increase the possibility of effective utilization and strengthening of the Criminal Justice system to reduce corruption as well as to improve the Governments ability to effectively respond to corruption.
Bar. Ahmad added that the activity was also aimed at strengthening the capacity of the Female Legal Professionals to actively enforce core elements of the ACJL and other Anti-Corruption Legislative frameworks in the State to reduce Corruption.