Abuja - Some Abuja-based lawyers have
cautioned on the handling of corruption in the judiciary, describing the issue
as sensitivity and delicate.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the
issue on Friday that the issue must be handled cautiously and carefully too.
Mr Collins Ndubuisi told NAN that the NJC should be
proactive in handling petitions against judicial officers, adding that the NJC
spend much time to investigate and decide on issues before it.
“I think that the NJC needs to handle complaints against
judges with sense of urgency. It is important to deal with such cases with
dispatch in order to avoid misguided opinion by lawyers and the society at
“The NJC should act as a fair umpire and needs to make
pronouncements that will meet the justice of any complaint. After all, justice
is said to be three way traffic, the complainant, the defendant and the society
at a large.
“It will always be in the interest of the NJC to strike a
balance and this is the only way to ward off desperate actions or interference
by the executive,” Ndubuisi said.
Similarly, Mr Martins Ochu, said corruption must not be
tolerated, especially from the judiciary that had the power of life and death.
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“Judges are the only authority that can pass a judgment that
a man be hanged and it will be carried out. So, to allow such officers vested
with such enormous powers to be corrupt will spell doom for the society,” Ochu
Also, Mr Elias Akor, said, “we need to be careful not
to diminish or whittle down the respect and authority of the judiciary.
“The executive arm needs to be circumspect the way and
manner it wants to tackle corruption within the judiciary, otherwise it will
end up throwing the baby away with the bath water.
“Once the judiciary loses its integrity, it will be
difficult to restore, and the society will be the causality. Lawlessness may be
enthroned as a consequence. So, caution is advised,” Akor said.
But, Umaru Usman, advised that “fighting corruption within
the judiciary must be pursued through due process because judicial officers are
not just any other citizen of this country.
“It is important to fight corruption within the judiciary
through due process. I say this because perception is everything here, once the
impression is given rightly or wrongly that a judge is corrupt, that perception
sinks into the populace.
“And any decision reached by that judge one way or the other
may be seen as tainted,” Usman said.
Usman, therefore, cautioned that investigation of judges
must be as discreet as is humanly possible, and could be made public only when
there was prima facie case.
“In this way, the sanctity of the judiciary can be
preserved, while at the same time the fight against corruption rages.