June 9, 2023

As We Begin the NBA Annual General Conference, Let Us not Forget the Independence of the Judiciary

Statement Issued by the Vanguard for the Independence of the Judiciary Calling for Full Independence and Autonomy Nigerian Judiciary

Statement issued Friday, the 19th of August, 2022.

The State Judiciary is not Independent in any State in Nigeria and justice is the biggest victim.

Let the Executive remove its knees from the neck of the Judiciary, so that the Judiciary can breath.

Hon. Justice E.A. Edigin, FICMC, FCIARB, the immediate past Chief Judge of Edo State at My Lord’s Valedictory Session on the 17th of May, 2021.

We act as if everything was fine. Our judiciary is in ruins. The Governors are emperors and they treat our Judiciary as a Department in Government Houses. Where is JUSUN, where is the NBA,where is the BOB, where is the GCB? We can not continue like this. Things are not well with the Judiciary. Let us not pretend.

Most Chief Judges of the various states can not even employ their drivers. The Chief Judge is more or less a ceremonial head of the Judiciary. The real head is the Governor, as he holds the purse and the sword. He chooses most of the Judges at the time appointment.

Budgeting is Governance, the person who controls the budget, controls the dockets.

We have internal collaborators who are selling the Bar for a pot of porridge and they are our greatest problems. If we did not reaccess and rejuvenate ourselves, the Nigerian Public will rise against us one day (Remember ENDSARS)

Let us not have a false sense of invincibility. The notion of the public about us is not good. We must redeem ourselves as we are supposed to be the last hope of the common man, but now we cause uncommon problems for the common man.

Chief Gani Fawehinmi, SAN of blessed memory said:

“The Legal Profession ought to be and must strive to remain the dependable bastion of hope, help and succour for the oppressed, the suppressed and the repressed in our society.”

We must liberate our Judiciary from the clutches of these governors. The Governors should also know they will not be in power forever and they should leave the Judiciary while they are in office or the Judiciary will be used by the next persons in power to deform them when they leave office.

My name is Douglas Ogbankwa, Esq., @ douglasogbankwa@gmail, I am the Convener of the Vanguard for the Independence of the Judiciary (V4IJ). We want an unconditional Independence of the Judiciary, it is a legacy we owe our children. It is our right not a privilege.It is the only sure guarantee for the enthronement of the rules of law and the protection of rights.

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