NEWSPOLITICS

‘Judiciary is Nigeria’s problem’, judges now corrupt, compromised – Peter Obi

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 general election, Mr Peter Obi, says the era of impartial, independent and incorruptible judiciary in Nigeria is long gone.

He stated that the judiciary who is supposed to uphold the rule of law is the one trampling on it, adding that the judiciary is Nigeria’s problem.

Obi stated this during Justice Anthony Aniagolu’s Memorial Lecture, organised by the family and hosted by Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu, on Tuesday.

Obi said there was a time when the judiciary served as the bulwark to the tyranny and excesses of the executive and also served as the palladium for the rule of law, adding that he benefited from such judiciary when he ran into troubles as governor.

Delivering a lecture on the topic “The Judiciary and the Future of Nigeria,” Obi said he won the election in Anambra State while another candidate was declared the winner and he approached the court for justice.

“I spent three years in court and it was given to me, and after a few months, I was impeached but the judiciary restored me to power. After one year in office, they conducted another election and elected another person.

“But I went to the Supreme Court, where judges, with respect for the rule of law, reinstated me to complete my tenure.

“All these things happened because there were incorruptible and independent judges,” he said.

The former Anambra governor, who noted that such jurists were hard to find in present-day Nigeria, said: “Our judiciary is weak and compromised by the executive and highest bidder.”

According to him: “The future of our society is compromised because the independence of the judiciary has been destroyed.

“We need a strong judiciary to fight criminality. The rule of law is the foundation on which any society survives and develops and the only thing that makes it sacrosanct is the independence of the judiciary. And it is a strong judiciary that makes businesses, investments and democracy thrive.”

He pointed out that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, was not the problem of Nigeria but the judiciary, whom those denied their rights approached but ended up being disappointed.

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