Former Nigerian leader tasks government on judicial autonomy

Abdul Mohammed Isa, Niger State

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The Nigerian Government has been advised to remove all impediments militating against full autonomy for the judiciary in the Country.

General Abdulsalam Abubakar, a former Nigeria’s Military Head of State made the call during  the flag-off of the training for Magistrates/District Court Judges organised by the Department of International Development, Role UK, Judicial College, London and Africa House in collaboration with the Niger state government in North Central Nigeria.

He pointed out that the clamour for a corrupt-free and effective judicial system in the Country can only be achieve in the face of improved funding and access to same.

The former head of state who was the chairman of the occasion, said providing the enabling environment, especially in relation to the welfare and workplace for the judiciary to function optimally is very fundamental to the independent of the third arm of government.

General Abdulsalam who advocated for peaceful coexistence among all segments of the country, also called for the States government’s necessary intervention on the level dilapidation in courts especially magistrates across the country.

“In terms of the welfare and working places, as you go round the country, you will see dilapidated court buildings needing repairs. I think we need to look into that and tried to do the repairs in order to encourage their performances,” 

The Governor of Sokoto State in North west Nigeria, Barrister Aminu  Tambuwal  who was also a guest at the occasion emphasised that the  judiciary, as the last hope of the common man must be encouraged to deliver on its services.

“If we don’t give them the necessary training and  funding we shouldn’t expect them to perform magic,” a situation whereby the third arm of government go “cap-in-hand” to executive for fund negates its independence” said Tambuwal.

The Sokoto State Governor who urged states Governments in Nigeria to fully grant autonomy to their Judiciary further commended the Niger state Government for granting partial autonomy to the judiciary, as a mark of progress in Nigeria’s Judicial System.

“If we want a corrupt-free judiciary, we must ensure that they have their independence in terms of financial autonomy and also well remunerated as at when due”.

Governor of Niger State in North Central Nigeria, Abubakar Sani Bello who also called for necessary judicial reforms to make the administration of justice easier and quicker in the Country, said the training which is the first in the country, is apt and handy as it provides rare opportunity for the lower court judges in tackling new challenges confronting them through the judicial activism.

Nnenna.O