How I fought corruption in Lagos Judiciary – Osinbajo

Acting President Osinbajo speaking at the opening of a two-day national dialogue on corruption organised by his office in conjunction with the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, at the Banquet Hall of Aso Rock Presidential Villa on Thursday
Acting President Osinbajo speaking at the opening of a two-day national dialogue on corruption organised by his office in conjunction with the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, at the Banquet Hall of Aso Rock Presidential Villa on Thursday

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has given insight into how he successfully fought endemic corruption when he served as the Attorney general and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State.

Mr. Osinbajo served as Lagos AG in 1999 under the administration of Bola Tinubu on the platform of the defunct Alliance for Democracy, AD.

Speaking at the opening of a two-day national dialogue on corruption organised by his office in conjunction with the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, at the Banquet Hall of Aso Rock Presidential Villa on Thursday, Mr. Osinbajo said he knew there was problem in the Lagos state judiciary even before he assumed office.

He said when he assumed office, the first thing he did was to conduct a survey of about 200 lawyers “who were regular practitioners at the court” and asked them certain questions.

The acting president said one of the most fundamental questions in the questionnaire bordered on the “integrity of the judiciary”.

“89 per cent of the respondents said that the judiciary in Lagos state was notoriously corrupt,” he said.

He also said the corruption went beyond judges to include court clerks and lawyers. He also said the survey identified the causes of the corruption to include appointments based on favours and connection to the detriment of merit.

He also said no serious background checks were carried out on prospective appointees. He said the take home pay of magistrates and judges was also found to be inadequate.

“We therefore, put in place a system of tests and interviews that each prospective appointee must answer satisfactorily,” he said.

He also said he subsequently put in place a team of seven senior judges and reviewed the monthly salary of judges which was about N67,000 and compared it to their average expenditure and then came to the conclusion that the take home pay of judges was grossly inadequate.

Mr. Osinbajo also said most good judges had no home of their own even after retirement and decided to not only increase the pay but provided each judge with a House.

“Every judge is given a house to live in and it belongs to him even after retirement. We also increased remuneration considerably,” he said.

The acting VP said after doing that he insisted that any judge accused of infraction is investigated and punished accordingly. He said within one year of the reforms, 22 magistrates were sacked while three judges were recommended for disciplinary measures to the National Judicial Council.

“When we conducted the same survey again in 2006, the outcome showed that there was zero per cent corruption among judges in Lagos state,” he said.

Mr. Osinbajo said people naturally have to see the consequences of bad behaviour before they toe the line.

The acting president also used the occasion to ask for additional cooperation from the international community on the recovery of stolen assets hidden in various countries.

He said the process of recovering stolen assets is very cumbersome and may even take several years. He then called on the international community to work with the Nigerian government to ensure that the assets are returned to the country speedily.


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  • Eko ti baje ju

    Premium Times Editor,

    Nigeria: The next Crisis to come

    Yemi Osinbajo is so naive it’ll take a miracle for him to sound like an educated person.
    How can a thinking person say he singularly ended corruption in Lagos state in 2000 –
    and that corruption dropped to zero in Lagos state immediately he took just one step.
    That is how people feeling empty and tad inadequate deploy hyperbole to, so to say,
    overcompensate for nothing achieved in public office, except perquisites for the self.
    Nigerians should now be very worried that this Acting president does not think well.

    • Sam

      “When we conducted the same survey again in 2006, the outcome showed that there was zero per cent corruption among judges in Lagos state,” he said.

      • Kamalu

        He was quoted out of context…Why the rush to crucify the man?

    • Julius

      He is an “illiterate”…right ?..Y’all favorite words !!!

    • Ajayi Ifayemi

      Looks like you are the illiterate. Your interpretation of what he said is way off the mark. This man talked about Judges and you are talking about the whole of Lagos State. Did you go to school in the night?

  • George

    You couldn’t have work under Tinubu and said you fought corruptions.

    Tinubu is kwaration and Kwaration is Tinubu.

    Buhari once asked Tinubu whether he sell cars due to the numbers of cars in his compound.

    • Julius

      lolz, really ? You are such a troll . Happy trolling !! Why the lies tho ?

    • Otunba

      “He couldn’t have worked under………….” You are spot on! Mind you, Tinubu’s is not Kwaraption because stealing is NOT Kwaraption, as defined by our Ex-president. And, the man was right afterall, only because Nigerians’ anger at that particular time did not allow him to expound. If you are stealing, you are only corrupting yourself, nobody is corrupting you and you are simply a thief!!

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  • sammyctu ode

    Mr. VP Congratulations we are very proud of your achievements in Lagos and what you are doing on behalf of Mr. President. I know some deranged idiots will make unintelligent comments about what you have just told us but to me those are the stark and educated illiterates of our society who will go to church and still say The Almighty did not create heaven and earth. We will continue to pray for PMB and the success of your administration. Bless you Sir.

  • Mama Kay

    That is why I tell people you would have warned the judges before DSS raided them.

    They didn’t believe you, now they are disgraced forever.

  • systematic

    well don professor. god will continua to suport this administration

  • SAM .A

    That is a pragmatic leader, please take this approach to the Judiciary at Federal level , if judiciary is clean and dish out judgement without favor , the police , the civil servants and the army will all sit right.

  • Manuel Tobby

    you call a SAN and a PROF a mumu??? really! i wll assume u are an imbecile until you post yr CV

    • Augustine

      No ! How can I call my vice president a mumu? I was refering to mumu Nigerians calling Osinbajo a failure for not ending corruption in the whole of Nigeria in only 2 years in office as VP.