Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo,Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola and former Chief Justice of the Federation, Muhammed Uwais, yesterday decried the high level of corruption in the nation’s judiciary, and said that the judicial arm of government being the last hope of the common man has failed to live above board.
The leaders who made their remarks at the 4th annual national conference of the Academic for entrepreneurial studies, Nigeria, (AES), held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, (NIIA), Lagos, said that Nigerians did not have strong confidence in the judiciary anymore.
The eminent Nigerians who took their turns to speak at the event, chaired by the former head of state, General Yakubu Gowon and was also attended by the head of interim government, Chief Ernest Shonekan berated the judiciary for embracing corrupt vices.
Obasanjo in his keynote address said, “We believe that the judiciary is the last to be affected by corruption. Now, the judiciary has been riddled by corruption, which has affected other sectors of the country. And if the judiciary becomes corrupt, where is the hope for the nation. Justice has become the highest bidder takes all. That is what we have now.”
Obasanjo added, “For election, we now have democracy of the judiciary, substituted for democracy of the people. Yet we do not see anything wrong with that.
“All these things started happening in this country without anyone sanctioning it. We took those things for granted and big things started to happen and we are now lamenting. However, they happened in our presence and it is now difficult for us to change.
“When I was the president, we removed some of them. When I was in government but not all of them were removed. We still have some left in the system.”
Obasanjo continued, “The issue is that diligence that is undertaken before a judge is appointed into office is not undertaken anymore. The diligence that was undertaken by political leaders before they are
allowed to contest for election into the National Assembly is not done again. Armed robbers are in both the National and state house of assembly. Then what sought of law are they making for the development of this country.”