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Ex-CJ flays alleged disobedience of court orders by government, others

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The immediate past Chief Judge of Cross River State, Justice Michael Edem, has charged the executive arms of government right from the federal to the local level on obedience to the rule of law.

The ex-CJ, who addressed newsmen in Calabar, also reiterated the call for the financial independence of the judiciary as “money answereth everything… Financial independence of the judiciary, I think, would go a long way in changing its status.

Edem, who decried instances where the constitution and court orders were not obeyed, stated: “If the constitution remains as it is, my advice is that it must be respected, it must be honoured no matter whose ox is gored, and even if the entire heaven falls.”

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He recalled that the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, had equally decried the unsavoury development.

The erstwhile jurist noted: “Without court, a set of anarchy is enthroned; without court orders, we would have returned to the state of Thomas Hubs, a state of brutishness, nastiness and of course, brutality.

“I do not see anything very difficult in obeying court orders, as the court is a rational entity that has the interest of the corporate existence of the country at heart.”

On the independence of the judiciary, he stated: “Without such, the judiciary would always find itself cap in hand going to the executive to get what it could have gotten by itself and in the process, you know he who pays the piper dictates the tune. In the process, some certain issues which could not have been would come to be like something tending towards compromise.”

He went on: “So, the way out is complete financial independence and that does not mean that brick walls must be built between the judiciary and the executive arms. That link of seismic relationship would still remain, but on a more respectable note.

“The only autonomy that would go quite a long way in solving the problems of the judiciary will be financial.”

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