A former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters, Umar Dahiru, has expressed concerns over the loss of confidence in Nigeria’s judicial system.
Speaking at a book presentation in Abuja titled ‘When Justice Sleeps: Burning Issues and Crises in the Administration of Justice in Nigeria,’ Dahiru highlighted the alarming state of the Nigerian justice apparatus.
Identifying corruption, ethnicity, and religion as major obstacles to justice dispensation in Nigeria, Dahiru metaphorically described justice as ‘sleeping’ in the country, which he said has led to a decline in trust among Nigerians towards the judiciary.
The book’s author, Matthew Okeke, also expressed dismay over the deteriorating state of the judicial system, emphasizing that the system was failing to meet the needs of the people, leading to widespread discontent.
Upholding Justice and Constitutional Provisions
Okeke’s book primarily centres around the concept of justice, with a particular focus on the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999 as amended) and other relevant laws related to justice and its administration in the country.
Okeke emphasized that for the judiciary to effectively serve the needs of the people, both attitudes and laws need to be adjusted and stressed the inadequacy of attention given to issues of justice and called for necessary amendments to existing laws.
Support for Positive Change in Judicial System
Dr George Mogalu, Chief Executive Officer of the National Inland Water Ways (NIWA), expressed appreciation for the author’s efforts and highlighted the importance of supporting individuals like Okeke who refuse to give up on Nigeria’s judicial system.
Dr Mogalu underscored the necessity of an impartial justice system, recognizing that justice is essential for growth, progress, freedom, and unity in a diverse society like Nigeria.
Furthermore, he commended the author’s passion for achieving a justice and political system that “benefits all citizens, regardless of gender, tribe, religion, culture, creed, ethnicity, or other divisive factors exploited by the political class for their selfish interests.”
Reporting by Julian Osamoto; Editing by Saadatu Albashir