BY DONATUS NADI, Abuja
Governor Umaru Tanko Almakura has directed the Nasarawa state Judicial Service Commission to, henceforth consider the appointment of private legal practitioners as judges after serving what he called ‘legal brigandage’ from those on the lower bench on government employ.
The governor made the policy statement in Lafia when he sworn-in three newly appointed High Court judges in keeping with Section 271(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
He said, “I have observed that the lower bench has taken for granted Government’s policy of appointing Judges of superior courts from their ranks and therefore resort to legal brigandage, consequently, Government hereby directs the JSC, to as a matter of policy, henceforth open the doors to private legal practitioners as well in future appointment exercises so that we can have a competitive process, and perhaps this will make Judges in the lower bench sit up.”
The governor who took a swipe at judiciary observed that the sanctity of the dispensation of justice has been compromise through frivolous exparte motions and judgments delivered laced with ethno-religious sentiments.
He said ,”I note with grave concern the unnecessary and often times unjustified granting of exparte orders at the slightest prompting; the slide to ethno-religious sentiments as against the balanced intellectual reasoning which the Judges apply in judgments; the emergence or existence of a Judiciary connected cartel, especially in the Karu axis that connive with land grabbers to usurp and convert Government land for self-aggrandizement, the gradual descend from a robust jurisprudential expose’ to lazy pedestrian conclusions that neither provide justice nor does it contribute to the pristine intellect Judges are known for.”
Almakura also lamented the situation were state counsels don’t appeal judgements at the Court of Appeal, which he saidsaid, ‘perhaps, explains why we have less number of Senior Advocates in Nasarawa State’;adding that, ‘It is for this reason that henceforth, Government will be taking two (2) approaches to stem these abuses of judicial oath by firstly, appealing these judgments and, secondly, where we strongly suspect abuse, we will lodge a formal complaint to the National Judicial Council (NJC) and the Legal Practitioners Privileges and Disciplinary Committee (LPDC).’