Dr. Asukwo Mendie Archibong, Esq. speaks on why we must act fast to safeguard the judiciary from further ridicule, and sanction judicial misconduct in order to enhance public confidence in Nigeria’s justice system.
“A State High Court in Rivers State issued an Ex Parte Order asking the PDP National Chairman to “stop parading himself as chairman or member of the PDP,” Dr Archibong recounts.
“Another State High Court in an ungoverned area of Kebbi State, issued an Ex Parte Order asking Secondus to take up his position as the chairman of PDP. A funny State High Court in Cross River State issued recently another Ex Parte Order restraining the chairman from acting as the chairman of PDP.”
“All these Courts are courts of coordinate jurisdiction, meaning none is above the other. It is more likely than not that these Orders were procured. Even if that is not the case, the damage has been done.
He said “To see the judiciary reduced to silliness makes me sad. That the National Judicial Council is silent is shameful. It is not funny and neither should we laugh about this judicial ridicule.”
According to him, judges must, therefore, be accountable to legal and ethical standards, “I will be writing to the NJC to sanction these errant judges. It is embarrassing, shameful, disheartening and unbecoming. The Bench has become a two legged stool.”
“I encourage the few remaining honest and courageous judges to continue serving above board. Together we will overcome this PDP and APC engineered assault on our judiciary,” Archibong said, giving credit to judges who serve with honour.
Long before now, we were warned about the import of threats to judicial independence. Real or imagined, the reality currently stares us in the face (unblinkingly) going by the cacophony of opposite orders dished out by judges — few hours apart, on the same subject matter, different jurisdictions (and) by courts of coordinate status.
The judiciary is built on a foundation of public faith, thus, court rulings must came from competent, lawful and independent judicial officers with the intent that the Judiciary’s integrity will not be called to question.
The task can be achieved.