What Buhari told Nigerian judges (FULL TEXT)

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

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday pledged his administration’s commitment to work with the judiciary in addressing corruption and other national problems.

In his speech at a conference of judges of superior courts, the president highlighted the increased funding of the judiciary in the 2018 budget as a sign of the commitment by his administration.

Read the full speech below.

KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI, AT THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE 2017 ALL NIGERIA JUDGES’ CONFERENCE OF THE SUPERIOR COURTS, HELD AT ANDREWS OTUTU OBASEKI AUDITORIUM NATIONAL JUDICIAL INSTITUTE, ABUJA ON NOVEMBER 20, 2017.

Protocols:

I am happy to accept your kind invitation to address this assembly of the learned minds and to declare this conference open.

The conference organizers have chosen a very important and apt subject for this year’s conference namely: “Strengthening Judicial Integrity and the Rule of Law”. A democratic system such as ours cannot survive or prosper without strict adherence to the Rule of Law.

My lords, distinguished delegates, the prime purpose of any government is to regulate social relations within its territorial jurisdiction. Without the rule of law the government will degenerate into dictatorship or anarchy.

The theme you have chosen this year keys in with our administration’s resolve to strengthen the three arms of government to effectively fulfil their constitutional obligations.

For the judiciary, the public expects fairness, impartiality and speed in the administration of justice. Regrettably court cases can drag on for years and years, sometimes decades without resolution. I need only mention land cases in Lagos to illustrate my point.

Furthermore, there are huge backlogs of cases waiting to be dispensed especially at the Appellate levels. Reform of the judiciary should start at eliminating these seemingly endless delays in settling what to the layman are apparently simple cases.

Again, litigants expect that higher courts should endeavour to harmonise their rulings. There are contradictory decisions of superior courts on the same subject matter in cases where facts are substantially the same without a clear attempt in subsequent cases to distinguish the earlier cases. This lack of clarity leads to serious confusion to the lower courts.

The knock-on efforts of these delays and dis-continuities range from loss of confidence in the judicial system to over-crowding of prisons. This is an area Your Lordships should pay close attention to in your efforts at reforming the system.

Last month, I wrote to all state governors urging them to make special visit to prisons in company with state chief judges and release prisoners unnecessarily detained without due process.

My lords, as all of us are aware one of the objectives of this administration is to combat graft and other forms of corruption so endemic in our public life. The executive cannot achieve these objectives alone. We require the close cooperation of other arms of government.

My lords, earlier this year, the judiciary came under investigation. Let me again assure the judicial community, this action taken by the Executive was in no way a prelude to usurping the powers of the National Judicial Council or aimed at intimidating the Judiciary as wrongly portrayed in some sections of the media. Executive and legislative officials were also investigated

I am aware that the majority of judicial officers are learned and incorruptible and day in day out acting in the best spirit of their oath of office.

At the same time, I am quite aware of the problems besetting the Judiciary including under-funding, inadequate personnel and absence of modern technological aids.

Bearing these in mind, this administration increased allocation to the Judiciary from N70 billion to N100 billion in the 2017 Budget. A similar figure has been proposed for 2018.

Mr. Chief Justice, our administration’s commitment is to accord the Judiciary its constitutional rights. I therefore commend your recent decision to ask all judges at lower courts to provide you with a comprehensive list of all corruption and financial crimes in order to designate special courts to handle them. I support your action and the public is awaiting the results of this initiative.

My lords, distinguished delegates, it is now my singular honour to formally declare the 2017 Biennial All Nigeria Judges Conference open.

I thank you all for your attention and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


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  • Frank Bassey

    Thank God for Zimbabwean people and Army, otherwise Mugabe@93 will still contest elections even when he is already falling asleep at the middle of speeches. So the people of Zimbabwe will be free. Very soon! But not in Nigeria where those clowns and thieves who benefit from the crooked system are already saying buhari will contest and win the next election in 2019 when he will be 81yrs. If he spent 109 days in hospital at 79, then my arithmetic shows he will spend 374 days in hospital at 81. That means more than a year in London. But Nigeria is not a country and the Zimbabwean formular for expelling Mugabe will not work because Buhari’s country (Northern Muslims) will disagree and protest.

    It is bemusing to realize that old men formulate policies for African countries, policies that they will not live to see it work within 10 yrs because they will be all dead. In companies once you are 60 or 65 you are given retirement package and asked to retire. No serious company hires old expired and brainless men as EXEUTIVES or CEO/MD. You may be Chairman or Non-Executive director but never an executive director. Buhari should retire and go home to look after his animals.

    • Ado

      Thank God the old men could formulate policies that can work in ten years time when they will be no more. At least they are better than the young one that have just left which out formulating any that he could see work either next day or even during the time of his grand children. The young one only left a legacy of corruption, theft and impunity.

  • Dr. Peter Ejirika,CPA

    Nigerian Judiciary, whatever happened to the Independence of the Judiciary or has the Nigerian Judiciary denigrated to the Sharia Standards. Please, let Biafra go for we can create a more independent Judiciary.
    Also, I am wondering if Buhari addressed the Nigerian Judiciary in Awusa Tongue? Buhari sounds government as gwoment so how did the Sharia Judiciary of Nigeria understood what Buhari was saying, Awusa and Foolani uncivilized bunch?

    • Eluba Inas

      Don’t you have something better to do with your miserable life than spitting garbage in the Market square? Which kind yeye Dr you be?

      • Dr. Peter Ejirika,CPA

        Awusa he goat, assuming that you understand the doctrine of the Independence of the Judiciary, has this measure not been compromised with this invitation? Uncivilized subhuman answer this question rationally though being a Nigerian you can’t, all you will do is copy the works of your colonial masters.

        • Eluba Inas

          No. I would love to carry on the discussion with you provided you are ready to respect other people.

          • Dr. Peter Ejirika,CPA

            It is amazing that you can communicate in English Language, fag.

          • Eluba Inas

            Na your papa language? Dick head!

      • Dr. Peter Ejirika,CPA

        Awusa uncivilized brainless fag, there is nothing more worthy than fighting for Biafran Sovereignty in whatever form necessary.

        • Eluba Inas

          I challenge you to make one coherent sentence without an insult or abuse and let’s see how intelligent you are.