We mustn’t make Nigerians lose confidence in judicial system, Buhari tells NBA

President-Muhammadu-Buhari-in-AGH
President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, to work with the government to avert the collapse of public confidence in the justice system of the country.

Speaking while receiving the National Executive Committee, NEC, of the NBA at the State House on Thursday in Abuja, the president warned that a collapse of public confidence in the justice system will have disastrous consequences for the entire country.

“Let me reiterate that the collapse of public confidence in the justice system will have disastrous effects on our democracy and will negatively affect the capacity of the legal profession to thrive and flourish in the country,” he said.

In making a request to the NBA to ensure the highest form of discipline among its members, President Buhari charged the body to ensure that all cases of indiscipline and corruption are tackled effectively.

He expressed worries about allegations of the roles of some senior lawyers in attempts to corrupt judges and the judicial system.

President Buhari also gave assurances that his administration will continue to operate on a foundation of the Rule of Law.

According to him, “We are convinced that corruption and impunity flourish when due process mechanisms are disregarded. We, however, expect a corresponding duty on the part of all professional bodies such as the NBA to ensure the highest forms of discipline among their members”.

The president urged the members of the legal profession, whom he described as opinion builders in their various communities, to work for the public enlightenment of the citizenry, and to support the initiatives of government in sanitizing the public services, improving standards of public accountability and the insistence on the normal standards of judicial integrity.

He emphasised that government will continue to dwell on its programmes of a vigorous anti-corruption campaign; ensuring the recovery of looted national assets; prosecution of an effective and sustainable anti-terrorism war; and the institutionalization of law and order in all aspects of our national life.

President Buhari thanked the members of the NBA for their support so far, and urged them to do more in that regard.

He noted concerns raised by the NBA president and assured of his readiness to work with the bar association and the judiciary to achieve needed reforms.

In his remarks, the President of the NBA, Abubakar Mahmud, commended President Buhari for his confidence in the members of the association, considering the number of lawyers in high places in the administration.

These included the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari; the Attorney-General of Federation, Abubakar Malami; and five other ministers as well as the Permanent Secretary in the State House, Jalal Arabi.

The NBA President also lauded the administration for its efforts, and expressed the Bar’s continued support in the war against corruption, terrorism and general insecurity as well as the ongoing work to institute good governance and revamp the economy.

He, however, brought to the attention of President Buhari, NBA’s concerns on prisons’ congestion, the need for compliance with judicial decisions and the modus operandi of some of the anti-corruption agencies.


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  • emmanuel

    Hear the man who bribed Justice Ademola with N500k speaking
    Ademola has been given soft-landing from prosecution so the bribe scandal can rest

  • Vic Obidi

    Is Buhari serious? I read with disgust that a magistrate who was sacked by the Lagos State government when VP Yemi Osinbajo was attorney general under Bola Tinubu in Lagos remains shortlisted by our NJC to become a federal judge. The magistrate one Mr Adekoyejo Moses Kareem denies he was fired, however VP Yemi Osinbajo made statements in 2015 and again in march of 2017. An article in the Guardian newspaper in 2001 supported VP Osinbajo, but magistrate Kareem says the opposite. So is the VP lying or is it Kareem? If it is true, then this talk by Buhari is lip service.

  • Habib Atta

    CJ Onnoghen will uphold the law. He is a man of integrity and I cannot see him bringing the judiciary into disrepute. The NJC has a few bad apples like Ayoola who brought in one Tokode by deception to be made a judge. Well, the truth led to Ayoola being eased out of the NJC and Tokode terminated. I believe the CJN will sanitize the profession. The story of Adekoyejo Kazeem and his nomination to become a federal judge will be determined by Onnoghen. If Adekoyejo Moses Kazeem is confirmed, then that means VP Osinbajo lied! And I do not believe a man of the cloth, a pastor like Osinbajo will make untruthful statements. Let’s see how it plays out, but I have faith in the CJN.

  • Dazmillion

    The hypocrisy of demented Buhari who should be leading by example and start obeying valid court orders

  • Gary

    One cannot but wonder if Buhari’s speechwriters are really at work to make him a clown before the Nigerian people. Or just incompetent to the point of id*icy.

    Here’s the autocrat whose regime has ignored court orders and continues to hold citizens in detention despite court orders. His security enforcers have kicked down the doors of judges in the middle of the night and denigrated the judiciary as corrupt.
    It took sustained public outcry before the current CJN was forwarded for confirmation; after his minions failed to find anything to block him. Justice Onnoghen is today the only non-Northern Moslem heading a major branch of government in Nigeria under Muhammadu Buhari. Much to the chagrin of the Islamist prescriptions of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). I digress.

    So it’s either a cruel joke or the most rankling hypocrisy for Buhari to deliver a homily on maintaining public confidence in the Nigerian Judiciary.