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The chairman of Gombe state chapter of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Haruna Saleh, on Monday bemoaned the corruption in the state judiciary, blaming the situation on neglect by the state government.
Saleh, who stated this during the celebration of the 2015/2016 legal year of the Gombe State judiciary, said the neglect of the important am of government has encouraged corruption in its system.
The lawyer decried the state of decay of the state judiciary’s facilities and infrastructures, noting that its problems were due to inadequate funding.
“It is however with deep sympathy that the NBA observed that the Judiciary has been neglected in terms of structures and facilities, when we critically look at the dilapidated court rooms.
“And some courts are rented houses and shops, the limited existing structures that are made to be court rooms are now something else that calls for a reasonable and immediate attention. This clearly reveals how judiciary is ranked in the State,” he lamented.
The NBA chairman stated further that infrastructure and facilities in managing some of the court rooms, books and stationeries, working materials are not adequately provided,” adding that “this area is only left to the court’s staff in the registry to find their way out by all means.”
The situation, he observed, “undoubtedly encourages corruption as they end up using either their personal money or that of litigants or that of their counsel.”
However, speaking at the ceremony, the State Chief Judge, Justice Akila Heman, restated the commitment of the judiciary in dispensing justice to all manner of people.
The State governor, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, said that government is not unaware of the challenges facing the judiciary, particularly in view of the current security challenges and increasing crimes threatening peace and harmony in the Nort east.
The governor who spoke through his deputy, Charles Iliya, said it is against this backdrop that government considered the demands of the Judiciary Staff Union, JUSUN, which resulted in the mutual agreement that brought to an end the strike action embarked upon by the union.
“We are also mindful of the necessary financial requirements of the judiciary. I am constrained to point out however, that government at all levels is forced to drastically cut down expenditure as a result of reduction in revenue from the federation account,” the governor explained.
In spite of that, Dankawabo reassured judges in he state that his administration “is fully committed towards meeting the demands of the judiciary”.