Nigeria’s Judiciary Witnessing Undeniable Decline

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Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 general elections, Mr Peter Obi has bemoaned the state of Nigeria’s judiciary, stating that it is witnessing an undeniable decline.

The LP standard bearer noted, that although there still exist few good judges and justices in the country, the situation is still worrisome and a threat to the future of the nation.

Delivering a Keynote speech titled, “The Role of the Judiciary in Shaping Nigeria’s Future” at the 5th Memorial of Justice Anthony Nnaemeka Aniagolu, at the Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu, Obi said there is a lot to learn from the integrity of the late Justice of the Supreme Court and his class of Justices.

“It was truly an honour to pay tribute to one of Nigeria’s most esteemed jurists, the late Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Anthony Nnaemeka Aniagolu. His illustrious career, particularly as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria from 1978 to 1987, brought immense honour to our judiciary through his unwavering integrity and steadfast commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring justice in our nation.

“As we commemorate the legacy of Justice Aniagolu and other revered Nigerian judges, we must draw inspiration from their exemplary service. We must strive to emulate their dedication to integrity, fairness, and respect for the rule of law, transparency, humility, and the dispensation of justice.

“While the judiciary today still boasts of a few outstanding judges, there is an undeniable decline in our judicial system. This decline poses a significant threat to the future of Nigeria. Justice is increasingly commodified, and delivered in favour of the highest bidder.

“When the rule of law is compromised, the most vulnerable members of society are disproportionately affected, and the fabric of our society begins to fray. The integrity of our institutions, the protection of human rights, and the stability of our nation are all jeopardized,” Obi said.

He stressed that the rule of law is the highest intangible and most valuable asset of any society, saying “we must work tirelessly to protect and preserve it. We must prioritise the pursuit of justice above all else.”

The former presidential candidate added that it is when the judiciary is protected that the rule of law can remain as a beacon of hope to safeguard against tyranny, oppression, and injustice.

“In my address to the audience, I emphasised the urgent need to revitalise our judicial system by safeguarding its independence and promoting the values of character, competence, capability, compassion, and integrity among our jurists, as well as within our political leadership. By doing so, we can ensure that justice and fairness prevail as we endeavor to build a better Nigeria for all,” he said.

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