Daniel Onjeh: Arrest Of Corrupt Judges – Matters Arising
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October 11, 2016 ( Post 1 )
The recent arrest of several serving senior Judges by the Department of State Security (DSS) came to many Nigerians as a rude shock.
Majority of Nigerian commentators as usual rushed to make their views heard without proper reflection on what led to such an unprecedented action. While some condemned the raid outrightly as being against the separation of powers-the hall mark of true democracy-others saw the DSS as witch hunting the judiciary which has to some received rather relentless criticism from the ruling APC.
But the raid on offices and residences of serving judges deemed to be corrupt should be seen in its proper context and analyzed accordingly, instead of arguing based merely on sentiments and political affiliation.
Even a toddler known that corruption is the bane of Nigerian society and as Buhari has consistently reiterated,” Nigeria must kill corruption before corruption kills Nigeria” because of the enormity and institutionalized nature of the problem. Corruption permeates every aspect of Nigeria’s life, every facet of Nigerian society and every institution. It is the single most dangerous malaise that can yet lead to national disintegration if not tackled fully, wholly, completely and holistically.
I see a President with the requisite political-will to exterminate corruption, but I also see a legislature breeding corruption and a judiciary shielding corruption in Nigeria.
The war against corruption, like the War on Terror cannot be fought half-heartedly or selectively, but must be comprehensive and total because it is interlinked to societal progress, global peace, stability and security. No institution of state, no matter how powerful or crucial can be overlooked in this fundamental war. Thus, the raid on judges and the humongous sums recovered in multiple currencies from them should be commended and supported by all patriotic forces.
Institutions of state like the military and the judiciary must be above board at all times, because the loss of faith by the citizens in them portends a great danger for national survival. Under the immediate past administration, Nigerians were subjected to tales of plunder by commanding officers resulting in acts of desertion, cowardice and untimely deaths of hundreds of ill-prepared, ill-equipped and poorly trained soldiers. Subjecting all indicted brass to the full weight of the law is therefore a step in the right direction which must be pursued to its logical conclusion-recovery of all looted funds and appropriate prison terms for the guilty.
The judiciary is not just the hope but the last hope of the common man. If faith in the judiciary of a nation is lost, one can only imagine what will follow-great anarchy!
Nigerians have been puzzled with several conflicting, extremely contradictory, confounding and confusing judgments by courts of equally competent jurisdictions, leading to several calls from different section of society for judicial sanity and swift action by the National Judicial Council.
Many cases, have suffered from judicial rascality in which very solid cases are dismissed on mere “technicalities”, not on the finer points of the law or the facts of the case, just also, as all kinds of illegal injunctions are issue from the Nigerian courts to frustrate corruption trials.
Any loss of faith in the judiciary will lead to everyone resorting to self help-a sure recipe for violence and national disintegration.
Nigerians, especially those who know and believe that they have no other country other than Nigeria to call their own, should rally round the government in its determination to fight the deadly monster of corruption, regardless of our different political affiliations.
Let us offer the Buhari Administration constructive criticism to move the nation forward even as we applaud him when necessary.
God bless Nigeria!!!.
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