How lawyers, judges are slowing down Nigeria’s anti-corruption war — Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said the judiciary arm of government was yet to perform its functions to the satisfaction of Nigerians given the reforms brought about by the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.

Mr. Buhari stated this at the National Judicial Institute, Abuja, while declaring open a Workshop for Nigerian Judges organized by the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption in conjunction with the NJI.

The President also said the Judiciary must take steps to ensure that it was not perceived as being partisan.

He said Judges must be aware of the sensitivities of the public and take steps towards avoiding even a shred of a doubt regarding their independence.

“In justice, integrity is a necessity. Hence, Judicial Officers and all other members of this sector must always demonstrate manifest integrity,” he said.

Mr. Buhari advised the judiciary to be in the forefront of efforts to develop rights-based jurisprudence as an element in the multi-disciplinary approach advocated in the fight against corruption.

He said as an arm of government, the judiciary had a role to play in the fight against corruption by enforcing the applicable laws.

“Critically important also, is the sacred duty of the judiciary to ensure that criminal justice administration is not delayed,” Mr. Buhari said.

“I am worried that the expectation of the public is yet to be met by the judiciary with regard to the removal of delay and the toleration of delay tactics by lawyers.

“When cases are not concluded the negative impression is given that crime pays. So far, the corruption cases filed by government are not progressing as speedily as they should in spite of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act of 2015 essentially because the courts allow some lawyers to frustrate the reforms introduced by law,” he said.

Mr. Buhari said the scenario such as the one he painted must change for his administration to succeed in its fight against corruption.

The president said he has made the fight against corruption one of the top priorities of his administration in the hope of restoring the economy and build a new Nigeria.

He said in the face of dwindling revenues and in a bid to reposition ‎Nigeria’s economy, ‘it became obligatory to swiftly tackle two ills; waste and corruption’.

He said the eradication of corruption is a joint task involving not only judges and members of the legal profession, but all Nigerians.

“The challenge is to come up with an integrated approach that balances process and substance, promote clarity to ensure a coherent and realistic formulation of objectives.

“To this end, the Judiciary is under a duty to keep its house in order and to ensure that the public, which it serves, sees this.

“Thus, we cannot expect to make any gains in the war against corruption in our society when the judiciary is seen as being distant from the crusade.

“This will not augur well and its negative effect will impact all sectors of society,” he said.

He advised the judiciary to always fight delay of cases in court and to also fight corruption ‘in its own ranks, perceived or otherwise.’

“We expect to see less tolerance to delay tactics used by defence lawyers or even the prosecution in taking cases to conclusion,” he said.

Speaking earlier, the chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Itse Sagay, also lamented the incessant delays in the prosecution of corruption cases.

He said the delays allow people with corruption allegations to seek new offices such as the Senate or even governorship which then allowed them immunity from prosecution.

Mr. Sagay, a Professor of Law, said PACAC had so far trained over 160 prosecutors, and had also produced a manual for organized prosecution of corruption cases.

The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said his office had so far received over 8000 case files from the Nigerian Police for prosecution.

The AGF said the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015 had been acknowledged as a revolutionary legislation, adding that what was remaining was its effective implementation.

Mr. Malami also said the act had created value chain across all levels and that there was need to make it a “truly national law”.

The keynote speaker at the event, Justice John Vertes, who is the President of the Commonwealth Judges and magistrates association, said corruption attacks the foundation of most democratic institutions and it often assumes many forms.

“Corruption, regardless of location or language is primarily to extort money or to preserve power,” he said.
Mr. Vertes, who spoke on the theme “Corruption and Development: What the Courts Can Do and Have Done” argued that the cancer of corruption has made economic development in Nigeria to be static.

“Investors are discouraged due to high rate of corruption,” he said.

He also said funding of the Courts should be independent of the executive arm in order to avoid manipulation of judges.

On his part, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Mahmud Mohammed, said the workshop was aimed at enhancing the strategies on the adjudication of corruption cases.

Mr. Mohammed said corruption in Nigeria had become complex and could not be solved in isolation.

The CJN said corruption suppresses economic growth and undermine the people’s collective security, while aggravating poverty.

“Corruption cannot be tackled without transparent delivery of justice,” he said.


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  • GEJ FOREVER

    HEAR WHO IS TALKING …….. BUHARI ….. WHO FRIVOLOUSLY STALLED HIS WASC FORGERY TRIAL FOR OVER A YEAR AND LATER WENT ON TO BRIBE THE LAWYER WHO TOOK HIM TO COURT

    NOTE: BUHARI NEVER EVEN FACILITATED THE COURT TRIAL BY DOING SOMETHING AS COMMON AS ENTERING HIS DEFENSE

    • kinsly

      GEJ Forever = Mumu forever!

      • kumi

        Gej still the best

        • Mufu Ola

          GEJ.Still the best in landing Nigeria in this sorry state.

  • Olawale O

    Plenty of English. No action. Gathering of self serving technocrats with transient politicians. The two branches of Governmwnt do mot trust each pther and that in itself is a block of the system. What is worrying from a human point is the innocent poor languishing in cells because they are in the untreated 8,000 files while the pressure builds to push political self serving cases. Sad

  • True Nigerian

    Just look at who is talking – a president whose government told Nigerians some ridiculous lies few days ago in order to shield two corrupt Army generals (Burutai and Dambazau) from investigation and prosecution for a probe that has already indicted them.

    Buhari, as I read your opinion and admonition to our corrupt and ineffectual judiciary, I couldn’t help thinking that you are deluded.

    Baba, please wake up from your delusion and see the gospel truth – that the greatest enemy of your anti-corruption effort is YOU and your corrupt appointees?

    How can you tell those horrible and laughable lies about Burutai and Dambazau, and then come out to preach to Nigerians that “in justice, integrity is necessity”? You probably take us all as fools or people who can’t make up our own minds on the information that we have.

    Your delusion is getting close to that of your predecessors who thought they were the best things that happened to Nigeria. They only learnt of their intellectual and moral poverty as soon as they left office.

    I supported you in 2015, and that is the last support you will get from me and those under my influence. You don’t deserve that support for a second time. I do not regret voting for you in 2015, since the horrible Jonathan was the other option. But you certainly do not deserve another support from me or those I can influence.

    • Sir Demo

      Majority will have their way. To be practical, Bubu must NOT take on all looters at the same time.

    • Mufu Ola

      Don’t tell us “I supported you in 20…” Just make your point.It’s fake people who keep saying ‘I supported u in this or that but not again’.

      • Chukwuka Okoroafor

        But he is making a point for himself. He supported Buhari and is expressing his disappointment in the government. How is that being fake?

  • Iskacountryman

    buhari whose lawyers just smothered his certificate case is preaching…only in nigeria…

  • thusspokez

    How lawyers, judges are slowing down Nigeria’s anti-corruption war — Buhari

    Readers Who Read This News Report Also Read:

    “FACT-CHECK: Buhari deceives Nigerians, report shows arms panel probed Dambazau’s tenure”

  • Mamman Bako

    Mr. President I support your war against corruption, but carpeting the judiciary like this is unacceptable. You could suggest how you see the judiciary from your own perspective, you can’t insist your view is right. The judiciary operates with laid down rules/ rule of law.

  • thusspokez

    These judges in their suits and tie speak volume about their colonial mentality and inferiority complex. Examine the photo and you would think that the workshop was held in (say) a western country. Buhari is the only one in African attire. It is also high time the Judiciary was Africanised — including their court uniforms; and away with the wearing of revolting fleas-infested wigs.

  • xxx2016

    @thusspokez:disqus

    No Bukola Saraki (not even Dino Melaye)
    says there is no extant Standing Rules of the Senate, which simple fact
    renders a different version used at Bukola Saraki’s election a forgery in
    simple English. Now, so long as Bukola Saraki’s so-called supporters don’t
    approve of Bukola Saraki’s conduct, can they really be called ‘supporters’
    in the grammatical sense of that word? Or just duplicitous fellows who’ll
    call a mad man ‘UNCLE’ just to be given opportunity to go on with their
    own private interests, without hindrance by the lunatic?

    • edmundo222

      @XXX2016:

      IF IT TOOK YOU UNDER TWENTY MINUTES TO REACH A CONCLUSION ON

      BUKOLA SARAKI’s FORGERY MATTER, WHY SHOULD IT TAKE A JUDGE

      IN THE HIGH COURT ONE YEAR TO REACH A COURT DECISION ON IT?

  • Sunny

    Mr. President should know that it’s not enough for him to talk about how the players in the Nigeria Judiciary have been slowing down his administration’s anti-corruption crusade, but he must be seeing as not being one sided in the various corruption cases going on. For instance, the recent report submitted by the an investigative panel set up by Mr. President to audit procurement of arms by and for the Nigerian military between 2007 until he assumed office silent on Mr. Dambazau who served as Chief of Army Staff between 2008 and 2010 and currently a Minister of Interior, also on the current Chief of Army Staff, Mr. Buratai who served as Director of Army Procurement during Mr. Jonathan’s administration and has even being recently alleged of having two properties in Dubai. Meanwhile, there has been early reports in the media that Mr. Dambazau has been indicted in the report to be released and that he has been making frantic efforts to get his name removed and really when the report was officially submitted, his name did not appear. If this whole story is true, it represents a serious setback for Mr. Buhari’s anti-corruption fight and I think Mr. President should clear himself of the allegation going around that he removed the names of some indicted individuals who are close to him by allowing independent investigators to interact with the members of the investigative panel and summon the individuals involved in the procurement of arms from 2007 till when he assumed office. Buhari’s administration needs to get the issue of fighting corruption right in a country whereby you hardly find any past or present political office holders or top civil servants since the return of democracy in 199 that’s not corrupt. Corruption, bad leadership and poor policies are what brought Nigeria to the poor state she is today.

    • xxx2016

      @thusspokez:disqus

      No Bukola Saraki supporter (not even Dino Melaye)
      says there is no extant Standing Rules of the Senate, which simple fact
      renders a different version used at Bukola Saraki’s election a forgery in
      simple English. Now, so long as Bukola Saraki’s so-called supporters don’t
      approve of Bukola Saraki’s conduct, can they really be called ‘supporters’
      in the grammatical sense of that word? Or just duplicitous fellows who’ll
      call a mad man ‘UNCLE’ just to be given opportunity to go on with their
      own private interests, without hindrance by the lunatic?

      • abbey

        Truth is a country without a single honest role model in public office today can never make progress.

        A country without a single good thinker in public office cannot make progress. Thieves occupy
        public office in Nigeria. A rule of thieves destroys a nation. Lies-telling is the opposite of integrity.

    • Lovely Thanks

      O you boko haram
      You are not happy that buratai is succeeding
      Fight against you.
      You want too tie buratai down with dubai property
      You have failed.

      • Sunny

        I think you need to understand what it means to fight corruption. This is not a question of trying to link Mr. Buratai to properties in Dubai, but allegation that must be investigated. In as much others that have been caught are governed with the same constitution and have equal right. Well, that’s what is obtainable where I live and that’s what I wish for my country Nigeria.

  • kumi

    Before you send someone to jail you must have evedience against the person and the court finds the person guilty and this can not be done in one day mr buhari, this is not military government but democracy

  • Gwongworo

    APC/Brainless Buhari’s Govt.: Govt. of parasites by parasites for parasites (including foreign parasites)

    1. NO jobs, food, salaries, fuel, electricity, rule of law, & security of life and property…….BLAME PDP/GEJ,

    2. Ignorance of existing LAWS while trying to “fight” corruption…………….BLAME JUDICIARY

    3. Padded 2016 Budget…………………………BLAME MDA directors as PDP members

    4. Refuse to show Nigerians how much has been recovered from “looters”…………..BLAME LYING MOHAMMED

    5. Created Fulani Terrorists to rape, maim, & kill Nigerians…………………….BLAME LIBYANS

    6. Use 6 months to select “saints” as ministers………….BLAME LATE HANDOVER OF DOCUMENTS BY GEJ

    7. Implement APC promise to foreigners to devalue the Naira……………..BLAME CBN

    8. Refuse to dialogue with Niger Delta militants………………….BLAME KACHIKWU & IJAW ELDERS

    9. Asked to Restructure Nigeria according to 2014 National Conference…………BLAME GOWON

    10. Asked to show his WAEC……………………BLAME the Nigerian Army

    11. Asked to probe sponsors of BOKO HARAM…………….BLAME ARMY COMMANDERS WHO FOUGHT TERRORISTS

    12. Asked why he remains ACUTELY BRAINLESS @ 78 years………………….BLAME HIS TWO MUMU PARENTS

    • excel

      You frustration will consumed you, APC not the reason behind the current situation of the country. Direct your frustration to the appropriate quarters(pdp/jonathan govt)

      • Arinze Ezeani

        Tell me how pdp/gej cause d woe in Nigeria economy. During gej economy was good and Nigeria became fastest growing economy in Africa. Petrol 87, u can also buy rice at 8k

    • Lovely Thanks

      Bastard you father terrorists gwongwaro boko haram

  • Jacky

    But when will this CJN Mahmud Mohammed retire? He has refused to reform the judiciary and has not even made serious attempts to call Judges to order, except for his occasional smokescreen-rhetorics in public functions. I doubt the integrity of the CJN himself…..a rotten fish starts from the head. QED!

  • excel

    The judiciary should wake up from their lax attitude. And stop allowing the common criminal to use them to manipulate the current war against corruption in the country.

    • City Law Offices

      Premium Times Editor,

      The limits of Ben Efeturi as Clerk of the Senate

      Under no canon of constitutional law is Ben Efetiri – as a
      civil servant and as Clerk of the Senate, authorized to alter or amend Senate
      Standing Rules and to enact the same as binding on elected Senators of
      Nigeria’s National Assembly.

      The Standing Orders of parliament – otherwise called Standing Rules of Senate in Nigeria –
      NEVER lapse at the end of a legislative session but continue to apply in perpetuity unless altered
      by legislators themselves at a session called for that purpose, preceded by debates on proposed
      amendments to be adopted or rejected by votes.

      No such session was called or held on 5th June 2015 and no proposed amendment of STANDING RULES
      was tabled for a voted motion. In effect, the Senate Standing Rules on 5th June 2015 was a forgery of
      the extant Standing Rules it purported to be.

  • Ayinde

    Thank God for democracy and judiciary listen to the CJN “Corruption cannot be tackled without transparent delivery of Justice” enough of media prosecution.

  • Richard

    He can be the judge too already he decides for ig, dss, efcc and malami

  • Realitytalk

    Please tell them baba, those defending the looters

  • Rommel

    We have to put in request for some commonwealth judges from civilized nations like new zealand and Canada to help us administer justice in Nigeria until we can raise a new crop of judges who are patriotic and willing to uphold the tenets of their profession,few Nigerians,very very few indeed are ready to embrace civilization despite living in modern world, majority are still clinging to the primeval sentiments of hunter gatherers only this time,they gather at all cost irrespective of implications of their actions,we call it primitive accumulation of wealth from public funds and using means of state to protect themselves,this is shameful,civilized societies do not live like that.

  • Right Minded

    #Copied….
    Mr. President, your anti-corruption fights should be done within the limits of the Nigerian existing laws. You have clearly shown Nigerians that your anti-corruption fight is one-sided which mainly targets the opposition and your critics.

    It will be suicidal if the judiciary grant you the fiat of judgement you want, because, your background is still dictatorial.

    Sir, this is a democratic government, where an accused is innocent before the law until proven guilty. Thank God your daughter has just been called to bar, please, try and find times out of your busy schedules to find out from her the working of a law; this does not intend to sound disrespectful, but sincerely parents could sometimes learn from their kids.

    The duty of your government is to first of all investigate all cases of allegations before the arrest of the citizens that are accused. It is the duty of the government to use the existing laws to prove all corruption cases, rather than requesting laws that will convict once accused by your government.

    The judiciary is and should remain the last hope of all Nigerians. Please allow the independence of the judiciary to continue, rather than this intimidation of the judges, and lawyers.

  • emmanuel kalu

    Part of the problem is that we don’t have enough judges and prosecutors. why should one EFCC prosecutor be handling more than one case, whereby a case is delayed because he is busy with another case. we need more judges that are clean and more prosecutors.

  • Lawrence Efana

    Nigeria is a democracy. But experiences show that the country needs some strong hands to deal with certain crimes simply because judicial hands and processes cause their authority to be doubted. To argue that strong hands demean democratic procedures is unworthy excuse under current revealing conditions. Nigeria needs sympathy if by deviating for a short while the country can instill acceptable mindsets and considerably reduce burdens of corruption. National legal institutions and professionals have to reassess the situation to earn the trust for their services. No one objects to their importance if there were no glaring evidence to the contrary. If legal norms and ethics light the way, money-making will be relative and normal, appointments and offices would be respected and served. The nation will not cry for that, which is not the case now, but anti-corruption law nevertheless has to be fair and no respecter of persons or political party allegiances.