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Jurist dismisses allegations of judicial corruption

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Justice of the Supreme Court, Kudirat Kekere-Ekun has dismissed the allegations of corruption against the judiciary, saying it is untrue and wrong perception.

The judge spoke during an interactive session with students of the Faculty of Law of the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo last weekend.

Responding to a question that bordered on corruption, she said: “People said there is corruption in the judiciary, but in the last five years, how many cases of corruption do you have? Judiciary is an institution, yes we have two or three cases, it is not sufficient to use them to generalise.

“The problem is that we are in the age of social media where media trial is going on and the narration about judicial corruption is gaining currency. But we deal with facts and law as presented to us. A case you thought someone is already guilty, having seen the fellow paraded in media when it comes to court because the police rely so much on confessional statements, if the accused succeeds in proving that the statement was obtained under duress, the matter will not have any leg to stand on again.

“So, the people who have already found the accused guilty will begin to say the judges must have been bribed and so on. There is a perception but it is not true. We deal with the facts presented to us. There are so many reforms going on such that judicial officers found wanting have been removed.”

According to her, the judiciary is in fact, the only institution with self-regulating mechanism.

“How many times have you heard that the executive removes its own without public outcry? We must be very careful about the unfounded narration about judicial corruption. In any case, we have the right to appeal from the court of the first instance, where any miscarriage of justice can be redressed,” she stated.

She also suggested that to reduce the congestion in the apex court, there should be a constitutional amendment to make the court a policy court, in addition to adopting ADR by litigants.

Prior to the interactive session, the faculty presented a book in honour of the vice-chancellor of the University, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun (SAN) titled, “Reflections on Dynamics of the Law”.

Mudashiru Obasa, the Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, who is an alumnus of the faculty of law during the launch, said the honoree taught him environmental law at the 300 level.

He picked 50 copies of the book on behalf of the State House of Assembly, saying he will pay handsomely for it.

Mrs Bola Bamgbose, representing the 1987 class of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) law graduates said the class is called class of distinction because it has produced five professors, seven senior advocates of Nigeria and many more distinguished legal scholars.

She said Prof. Fagbohun has given them the first Vice-Chancellor.

Prof Fagbohun thanked everyone who honoured the invitation and pray their blessings.

“We have taken a bold and strong decision because you supported us. The bold steps we have taken have got us accolades from the World Bank. We have had uninterrupted academic programmes and our students are doing very great in all competitions. A few days back, we had a supreme court justice, Hon. Amina Augie in the campus and today, we have another supreme court justice, Hon. Kekere Ekun.

“These are the great positives that are quietly redefining the landscape of our institution.

The presentation of the book tells me that there is something that I am doing that my colleagues consider worthy. It is an energizer for me to try to do more. It is an indication to me that when you want to act right, people will stand by you,” he said.

The VC stated that he has had great moments in the school and the LASU community stood by him. “My colleagues in the faculty of law and other contributors, I pray that when your time comes, you will not lack men and women to celebrate you,” he declared.


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