Senate president, Dr. Ahmad Lawan
By Raphael Ekpang
The senate committee on judiciary has on Monday called for the financial independence of the judiciary to enable it change the narrative from the current belief that the judiciary is corrupt.
The chairman of the committee Senator Micheal Opeyemi said it is time for Nigeria to show that we are serious and we understand the full and true meaning of the independence of the judiciary, which a cardinal aspect of it is the financial independent.
“We are concern as a committee and as a senate that we must not allow the rest of the international communities to live us behind, something urgently need to be done about the plight of the Nigeria judiciary. No Nigeria would not be surprise to hear that when a judge had to go out of station all he gets is N25, 000 to stay in a hotel and you wonder which hotel, especially my Lord we are concern about the welfare of our justices, our judges and our judicial officers”
“Under the present set of circumstances if we appoint Saints from heaven assuming we are able to do so to serve on our bench as justices and judges, it is only the strength of character of the individual judge or justice that can prevent him from being corrupt.
“No one will endorse or support corruption and as far as we are concern it is also not a moral issues, it is a sociological issue and need to be address materially through very special and extra budgeting provision. We are convinced that there is a need to make available to our judiciary a special intervention fund and I believe this will be an issue of the legislative and the executive arms of government to address most speedily beyond the current budgeting provision,
“In saying this also, on behalf of this committee and the senate of the federal Republic of Nigeria we want to commend Mr. President, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari GCFR for the continue increase of funding of the judiciary since he became the president, and in commending Mr. President we have to say as the elective representative of the people that it is not here uhuru, that a lot still need to be done and for us to be able to catch up there is need for special intervention fund, the details of which we believe with the leadership of the legislature we have to work out with the executive arms of government and after a special intervention fund we can agree how is going to be consistent increase on an annual basis of the annual budget of the nation as far as the judiciary is concern.
“But having said this, let me also called on your Lordship to do all your best in the event that the senate after this report and recommendation chose to confirm your lordship as chief judge of the federal high court and as the president of the national industrial court respectively.
“Do your best to ensure that you provide the kind of leadership and also try and spearhead the subtle struggle for the increment of the welfare of the judicial officers and do all you can to also ensure that the reform that we need in the judicial sector are achievable because without the reform, all these force this country to be a high way to nowhere,” he concluded.