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Nigeria’s justice administration is under severe pressure from the elite – Osinbajo

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YEMI Osinbajo, Nigeria’s vice president says the country’s justice administration is under pressure from the elite, who wants to ‘own things’ and ‘control everything’.

“Nigeria’s justice administration is under severe pressure from the elite who wants to get ahead at all cost,” Osinbajo said on Saturday, during a webinar tagged, ‘Selection and Appointment of Judges: Lessons for Nigeria’, organised by Justice Research Institute (JRI).

The JRI is a leading research and critical information development institute in Nigeria.

During the webinar in which panelists appraised Nigeria’s procedure for the appointment of judges in comparison with the procedure in the United Kingdom (UK) Osinbajo, noted that the Nigerian elite wants to get ahead at all cost.

“We have an elite and when I speak of elite, I speak of the Nigerian elite both political, religious, commercial/business etc. Everyone wants to get ahead, we want to own things, we want to control things and we want to own the judges too,” the vice president said.

Osinbajo further noted that the system of selecting judges in Nigeria was marred by corrupt influences, adding that if such process continues, the country was headed in the wrong direction.

“If we leave it to the system that is going on at the moment, we are clearly headed in the wrong direction because interest whether private, political or group influences how judges are appointed.

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“We must agree to an objective process to rigorously examine, test and interview all of those who want to come forward as judges,” he said.

Osinbajo’s recommendation came on the heals of the controversy sparked by the appointment of judges in the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT) back in May.

Of the 33 recommended FCT judges by the National Judicial Council, NJC, The ICIR found that at least eight of them were either children or relations of current or retired justices of Supreme and Appeal courts.

Earlier, in July, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed 11 judges for FCT High Court.

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Seun Durojaiye is a journalist with International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

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