According to Olumide Akpata, a former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Nigerian political elites have reduced judges to paupers.
According to Akpata, a Labour Party (LP) candidate for governor of Edo State, some state chief judges crawl before their governors to plead for money, official vehicles, and lodging.
According to report, the former president of the NBA made these remarks recently at the International Bar Association (IBA) Conference in Paris, France.
Akpata claims that the lack of financial independence and the destitution of Nigerian judges have reduced them to political instruments.
Additionally, Akpata asserted that some judges take their kids to Ivy League schools like Harvard, Yale, and Cambridge and live above their means.
He said, “Some chief judges kneel before the governors to beg for funds, official vehicles or accommodations.
“When you know a man (judge) that knows the law, but his judgement flies against the face of what the law should be, you know that there is something else motivating him or her.”
Speaking further, Akpata said that the National Judicial Council’s (NJC) selection procedure prevents the Nigerian judiciary from producing competent judges.
He claimed that people who appear as judges have no business being there and that there is a conscious effort by the political elite in Nigeria to seize control of the judiciary.
He said: “For a good judge to emerge out of that process is by fluke only; sheer luck with the judicial appointment in Nigeria. It is ridiculous.
“While I was president of the NBA, what I found out was that there is a deliberate attempt on the part of the political class in Nigeria to capture the judiciary. And that has very insidious consequences for the rule of law in Nigeria. It is deliberate, and it is intentional. And it is achieving results for them.”
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