Legal Issues

Buhari was right on the Judiciary-Damilola Sekoni


When Buhari accused the Judiciary especially lawyers of being his major headache in his fight against corruption, I was one of the lawyers that saw that statement as an affront, unguarded, reckless and unintelligent. I mean, a lawyer has the right to take any brief and defend his client the best way he can(albeit within the armbits of the Law).

However, two incidents have happened after that statement that has changed my position. The first involves a sitting Judge. The National Judicial Council (NJC), chaired by Hon. Justice Mahmud Mohammed has come down with a heavy disciplinary gavel on Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court, warning her and putting her on the “Watch-List” of the Council for the next four years. The judge will also not be considered for any elevation to the Court of Appeal or any Ad-hoc Judicial appointment until she retires from the Bench. In her petition, Ms. Ayeni had alleged that Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia deliberately adjourned the suit several times and failed to deliver judgment until the termination of the life span of the Ogun State House of Assembly, a charge the NJC apparently agreed with.

The second has to do with the lawyer now representing Saraki @ the trial @ CCT. This suit has gotten to the Supreme Court and they have in their wisdom unanimously ordered that Saraki has a case to answer and that the CCT has jurisdiction to entertain the suit. I find it a flagrant abuse of court process, the frivolous application filed by his counsel seeking once again to challenge the jurisdiction of the CCT thus stalling trial once again. This application will once again be dismissed by the CCT for lacking in merit, being frivolous and an attempt to re-argue an application that has been disposed off by the apex court of the land. His counsel will further want to appeal it(Its his constitutional right anywayz) thereby stalling trial and wasting the time of the court.

I’m being tempted to align myself with the submissions of President BUHARI that indeed the Judiciary spearheaded by Lawyers are a bane to the fight against his anti corruption drive. I’d end this piece by advising the CCT JUDGE to invoke the provisions of the ACJ which states that Rulings on all interlocutory applications SHALL be delivered alongside Judgment. In other words, Ruling MUST not be delivered now till the final determination of the suit. Stalling of trial was one of the mischief the ACJ set out to forestall and put an end to and the CCT must uphold the provisions of the ACJ to the latter. Enough said!

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