I believe that an independent Judiciary is crucial to the effective and smooth running of any government. The recent spate of events with our Judiciary has caused a complete lack of confidence in our Judiciary – rightly so.
I am therefore confident that cleansing our Judiciary is exactly as important as every other task that my Government will embark upon.
My administration will appoint senior lawyers, and judges who have led very clean pasts and who have no scandals trailing their career in the legal profession into an independent Commission for the purpose of safe-guarding our Judiciary.
This Commission will work with the National Judicial Council (“NJC”) to independently review every case each magistrate and judge decided throughout their career. Where the facts of the case and the legal principles upon which they were decided appear grossly unconnected with the decisions reached, such cases irrespective of what cadre of court decided it, will be singled out for review by the Supreme Court. This way, the correct decision will be reached by the Supreme Court, and the right precedent will be set for all lower courts to subsequently follow.
Where any particular magistrate or judge is found to have decided up to three cases illogically, such person will be proposed for immediate retirement in accordance with the provisions of our extant laws. Following retirement, the anti-graft agencies will be invited to thoroughly investigate such magistrates and judges and ascertain they were not involved in corrupt practices. We will back the prosecution of any of such men and women, and their accomplices where evidence of corrupt practice is found against them.
We will also only appoint magistrates and judges who will defend the constitutional principles of liberty and equality for all Nigerians. Those who will work for the betterment of all of us, who will protect our woman, our children, our disabled persons. Men and women of unquestionable integrity who will defend and protect our democracy; who will show Nigerians that the Constitution protects all of us and not only the rich and powerful.
We will move to reform the entire Judiciary; provide updated equipment and human resources in the form of secretaries, stenographers, researchers etc. This will ensure our magistrates and judges work a lot more efficiently with lower risks to their physical and mental health.
The Nigerian legislature of today has men and women who do not know what their legislative duties entail. Some of the videos we have seen of plenary sessions in these chambers in recent times have left much to be desired.
I will ensure only the best of us are elected into legislative offices. People who even though they are not lawyers or who have no inkling as to what legal drafting or debates mean, have a basic understanding of Nigerian legal and political system. People who will walk into those chambers armed with information to help agree policies which will reflect positively on all of us when implemented.
We will institute an independent remuneration commission for our legislators so as to ascertain what our country pays our law makers and the reasonability or not, of those payments. The future remuneration of all legislators in Nigeria will be set and implemented by this independent commission.