Judiciary must liberate itself, BOSAN blows hot
By Olalekan Awojodu
The judiciary on Monday held a valedictory session in honour of the late Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, the late Justice Abdu Kafarati where the Body of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (BOSAN) has again charged the Judiciary to assert and liberate itself through the protection of it’s decisional independence.
BOSAN spoke through Chief Chris Uche, SAN, saying Nigerians needed judiciary that will protect it’s independence by itself and the freedom of the people it serves.
The body noted with dismay the systematic efforts to erode the independence of the judiciary by the ruling class by way of intimidation, coercion, arm- twisting, divide-and- rule tactics and outright harassment. “We are all familiar with those well known impediments to the independence, appointment and removal of judges and disobedience of court orders;
“Judiciary must assert itself, and indeed liberate itself through the protection of it’s decisional independence. There are factors one may refer to as external enemies and we may want to reflect on whether the judiciary itself, and indeed the legal profession has in any way been complicit, either by action or inaction, in allowing external enemies to invade the sacred sanctuary,” BOSAN noted further.
While condemning various arrest and prosecution of Judges in Nigeria without subjecting them to extant rules made by NJC on discipline of judges, BOSAN also decried demands for filing of declaration of assets forms on questionable occasions.
In his own address, the Chief Judge, Federal High Court, Justice John Terhemba Tsoho described the posthumous valedictory court session is the final or goodbye honour accorded to deserving departed members of the bench and bar, whose common constituency is the legal profession.
“This is a sorrowful and solemn event, particularly because the news of his untimely death came to us as a rude shock and we will sorely miss him.
In a brief speech, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN said late Justice Kafarati’s life of service was for humanity and action, saying he was humble and hard-working.