Lawyer Urges NJC To “Up Its Game” In Implementing Policies
Lawyer and Policy analyst, Isaac Anumudu has asked the judiciary to “up its game” in the implementation of delicate policies.
This follows the twist in the events taking place in the judiciary, as legal practitioners have been commenting on the new controversial National Judicial Policy.
The policy which states that when a petition is raised against a judicial officer and taken up to the level of the NJC, it should not be leaked to the press by the petitioner otherwise the institution would discontinue the investigation, appears not to go down well with many.
Although he admitted that there are corrupt judges, he said some of the petitions are not always meritorious. He says some are born out of frustrations.
“When someone loses a case, he naturally feels aggrieved and is likely to accuse the judge of bribery even when none of such may have happened,” he stated.
Explaining further, he said if the petition as unmeritorious as it may be, is first leaked to the press and the judge is being tried in the public domain, where the facts are not there to be verified, the judge is not being heard at all as it is understood that only lawyers speak on their behalf.
He says as a result, the judiciary is sometimes brought under severe threat which appears to be the motive for the directive and therefore advised the institution to be more vigilante and also strike a balance.
This according to him is so that it does not appear as though the NJC intends to gag the media or deprive citizens of their fundamental rights.
He added that with the Freedom Of Information/Expression Act, Nigerians have become very sensitive of any directive or policy that appears to gag the press.
He urged that things ought to be done transparently and openly because “we are in a democracy”
On the other hand, he supported the rule by the NJC, saying that it is in order to protect the institution of the judiciary while also praising the CJN.
“We are not dealing here with individual judges, but the whole judiciary.
Hence if you allow situations that people can just run down the institution at will, this would result in a problem that we would all suffer eventually,” he said.