Judiciary Corrupt, Not Even Saints Can Rescue It –Senators Declare

Senators, yesterday, declared that corruption thrives in the nation’s judiciary on account of paucity of funds crippling its operations in the dispensation of justice.

They claimed the judiciary cannot be salvaged even by saints from heaven if Special Intervention Fund was not made available for the arm of government to function effectively and efficiently.

The damning verdicts were made by chairman, Senate committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Michael Opeyemi  Bamidele, in his closing remarks after confirmation hearing session the committee had with  Justice John Tsoho and Justice Benedict Bakwaoh Kanyip.

He spoke on behalf of other lawmakers.

Justice Tsoho’s nomination as Chief Judge, Federal High Court and Justice Kanyip nomination as President, National Industrial Court of Nigeria, were forwarded to the Senate for confirmation by President Muhammadu Buhari last week.

Bamidele in his remarks, which dwelled on submissions made  by the Justices during  the confirmation hearing session  said the Judiciary based on realities on ground as regards paucity of funds was vulnerable for compromise.

According to him, no democracy   could grow or survive with a compromised judiciary, the reason, Nigeria judiciary needed urgent special intervention fund.

“The problem at hand is that judiciary is corrupt and it is time for Nigeria and Nigerians to rise up in rescuing it with adequate funding .

“As it is with the nation’s judiciary today, even if saints are appointed from heaven to serve as justices and judges, it is only strength of character that can prevent them from being Corrupt and dispense Justice as required.”

He added that the issues were both moral and sociological which, according to him, required extra-budgetary provisions therapy.

Bamidele who  made the submissions in the presence of the two nominees and other Justices like Binta Nyako, Okon Abang etc, however, commended President Buhari for increasing the budgetary provisions for the Judiciary on yearly basis .

“Within the last four years, budgetary provisions for the judiciary has been experiencing marginal increases under the present administration but it is not yet Uhuru, the Special Intervention Fund must come first before consistent increase on annual basis,” he declared.

Admitting the rot in the judiciary, Executive Secretary of the National Judicial Council (NJC), Ahned Gambo Saleh, in an interview with journalists after the session said: “The welfare packages for judicial officers in this country is nothing to write home about. Judges salaries were last reviewed in 2007.”

He, however, added that if the so-called corruption in the Judiciary was weighed against what is obtained in other systems.