The common usage of ‘corrupt’ to describe the judicial arm of government by the Presidency has been strongly frowned at by the Nigerian Bar Association, who has now warned that the executive arm of government should desist from such.
NBA gave this warning on Tuesday in Abuja when its secretary, Mr. Isiaka Olagunju, spoke during an advocacy meeting between NBA delegation and the Special Assistant to the President on Prosecutions, Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla.
At the meeting called at the instance Obono-Obla, he had asked the association not to always support the judiciary, requesting that the bar should cooperate with the Federal Government in the fight against corruption, especially judicial corruption.
But the NBA insisting on its support for the National Judicial Council’s recent recall of some judges formerly suspended over corruption allegations, and cautioned that a blanket description of the judiciary as corrupt by the Presidency was wrong.
Olagunju said, “Let me state one thing clearly. Whether we like it or not, we have many brilliant judges in this country. We have judges who are men and women of integrity.
“Because a fraction of them is challenged, it does not mean all of them are bad. So, using a blanket description that we have a corrupt judiciary is wrong. There are many judicial officers who are of impeccable character and who are men and women of integrity and this must be acknowledged. That is our concern.”
On NJC recall of the six judges once suspended over corruption allegation, Olagunju contended that keeping those judges off duties for eight months without being charged was wrong.
The Presidency had in several occasions branded the judiciary corrupt and has kept and maintained that it has been a clog in the wheel of the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government anti-corruption drive.
In their response recently, NJC described the Presidency of hypocrisy, accusing Buhari of retaining some judges allegedly involved in corruption and slated to be sanctioned.
The feud between the two arms of government has increased since the NJC announced the recall of the six judges earlier suspended on June 1, 2017.