Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti state has taken a swipe on the Nigerian Judiciary saying that the country’s Judiciary has been compromised as most judgements in Nigeria today are monetised.
Speaking at the beginning of the 2015/2016 new legal year in Ekiti State, Governor Fayose stated that If the battle against corruption is to be won in the larger society, it must firstly be won in the Bar and the Bench.
He said the problem in Nigeria today is corruption.
“The judiciary has the power of life and death but this sensitive arm of government has been compromised and most judgements in Nigeria today are monetised. If the battle against corruption is to be won in the larger society, it must firstly be won in the Bar and the Bench, the governor said.
He said: “Due to the cancer of financial inducement and political leaning of our judges, it is only in our country that a political armed robber will orchestrate the trial of an innocent man or an ordinary pick pocket before a consenting judge.
When there are glaring facts on the table of anti-corruption agencies, they will pretend not to see or look the other way especially if the culprit is a member of the ruling political party and that is the more reason why some judges are timid to give judgement against the people in government.”
He maintained that the battle against an Ekiti man is a battle against all the citizens of the state.
Governor Fayose noted that this was the more reason why he advised Senators from Ekiti not to oppose the approval of former Governor John Kayode Fayemi when being screened by the Senate as a minister.
According to him, “despite all the challenges, our boat did not capsize, we are also in turbulent time financially as a state and a nation. But no matter how great the odds are, Ekiti will always have a leader. It is the duty of the leader to see that Ekiti comes first above all other considerations.
In his words, “I resisted entreaties from various quarters which wanted me to remove the Vice Chancellor of the Ekiti State University, EKSU and the Provost of the College of Education, Ikere, simply because they were appointed by the immediate past administration.
Whereas, the likes of former vice chancellors: Professor Dipo Kolawole, Professor Bamidele and other senior officers of EKSU appointed by the PDP-led government were sacked unjustly and unceremoniously by the same immediate past administration. I feel that trend must not continue. These institutions are expected to outlive us as leaders.
Also, I have resisted all political pressures aimed at muzzling anybody even the judiciary. It is our collective interest to shun vengeance because vengeance belongs to God.”
Fayose explained further that:“Take for instance, after so many evidence before the EFCC that the bank account of the Yobe Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) was credited with money to influence the last governorship election, no action was taken because the state is controlled by the APC-led government.
It is only in this country that when banks rip-off institutions or individuals; they will negotiate with the judiciary.
It is only in Nigeria that judges will say they cannot deliver a judgement due to the prevailing political circumstances citing the mood of the country as not suitable for such judgement even if the accused is seen to be innocent.”
Fayose pointed out that the corruption in the judiciary is so endemic that judges lobby to be appointed to serve in election petition tribunals in order to make money and as well influence judgement in favour of their political friends.
It gets more worrisome when facts have revealed that some of the judgements were written by lawyers for some compromised judges. Some cases were and are still being assigned to judges by their God fathers in the judiciary purposely to do hatchet jobs against the innocent. A lot of human rights activist lawyers have been working in concert with some judges to destroy the lives of innocent Nigerians for pecuniary benefits and cheap popularity, he said.
He maintained that If Nigeria is to move forward and for us to have a just society, the judiciary has a major role to play and must be seen to be doing so.