The Nigeria Judicial system has remained embattled for sometimes now, simply because the Nigerian people feel betrayed by the way and manner the body has conducted itself in the adjudication of justice lately. In fact, the belief out there is that justice in today’s Nigeria is for the highest bidder, no matter the offence committed. If this is truly the situation, the question is; where lies the hope of the common man whose rights and privileges deserve to be protected in the court of law? Democracy is not just word of mouth, but indeed a system of governance, anchored on law of the land.
This implies therefore that a society whose set of rules are not rooted in the spirits and letters of the law, but instead arbitrarily interpreted, certainly must fail and her people doomed! This is why all eyes are on the judiciary whose role to the survival of our democracy is indeed very crucial. It is on record that Nigeria Judicial system currently is going through turbulent times, owing to recklessness on the part of some judges who throw caution to the wind.
The suspicions on the courts rather increased after the conduct of 2023 general elections whereby citizens felt their voices and votes were suppressed. Again, from the recent pronouncements of some judges, the courts appear to have played the role of the Electoral College on matters wherein they are supposed to be neutral. However, the restoration of the mandates of the candidates of the New Nigeria People’s party (NNPP), Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State and his counterpart, Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State by the Supreme Court, earlier sacked by the Appeal Court, in many ways, have rekindled hope, and brought some kind of sanity to the Judicial system once again.
With the mandate of Plateau governor now restored, Nigerians are equally waiting to see what would be the fate of the twenty-one National Assembly members from the Senate, Federal House of Representatives and State House of Assembly equally sacked by the Court of Appeal last year, owing to what it called lack of political structures and pre-election issues in Plateau State; while also the people of Nasarawa and Kebbi States anxiously await the decisions of the Apex Court in their respective electoral matters that may come at a future date. It is baffling that our justice system has gone so bad with compromises here and there.
In fact, testimonies abound where retired judicial officers publicly confessed what judges do at their various courts. It is also in Nigeria that we come to realise that judgement can be influenced, at least to favour friends and acolytes. It is also worrisome that some people are promoted to the position of Judges without the requisite knowledge and experience. The question is, why are we having challenges in the judicial system all these years? Earnestly, more work has to be done to pull back the temple of justice from the brink of collapse. Nigeria is too sophisticated to accommodate those who know next to nothing, yet, they sit on the throne of judgement.
The celebrations of the people of Kano and Plateau States and the entire nation over the judgement of the Supreme Court shows that government should beam her searchlight on the lower courts and their conduct to avoid throwing the country into confusion. The craze for giving people the position they do not merit just to demonstrate allegiance to a political party is anti-democratic. This should not be entertained further in our body polity if indeed, we should make progress. We call on those in charge of our justice system to rise up and defend our hard-earned democracy without compromise, going forward.
We also admonish the Apex Court to stand firm at this crucial moment of our country, to defend and interpret the constitution of the land, without fear or favour. This is the only way our democracy can be nurtured and protected. Those judges found to be twisting the law, based on unfounded technicalities that have resulted in suspicion of the verdicts of the courts and its officers should be called to order to give peace a chance.