From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
A National Commissioner nominee for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Sani Adam, SAN, has linked to societal decadence in Nigeria to failure of the judiciary to do the needful in terms of objective and fairness in the dispensation of justice.
He alleged that the judiciary has been pervaded by corruption, making justice available and accessible to those could afford the cost.
He, thus, challenged lawyers and other people in the judicial system to rise to the occasion and rescue the judicial system from decadence through timely dispensation of justice to all irrespective of financial and social status.
Prof. Adam who spoke to journalists at the sidelines of a reception organised for him by the management of the University of Abuja (UniAbuja), to mark the end of his tenure as Deputy Vice Chancellor of the institution and elevation to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), admitted that lawyers have the powers to take necessary steps that would herald expected changes in the system.
He said: “We can be right to say that the judicial system in Nigeria has failed woefully. This was because of corruption and transactional judgement. All lawyers must work to restore the lost glory of the judiciary system. If the judiciary was doing what it ought to be do, that is dispensing justice as quickly as possible, there would have been sanity, security and good leadership in Nigeria.
“Once lawyers are not determined to change what is happening in the polity, then be very sure that such society is the verge of failure. Evidently, all the problems we are having today is because the judiciary has failed the people woefully.
“It’s our collective responsibility to reform and strengthen our laws to ensure that cases are treated with all honesty and sincerity. The judiciary of today has been invaded by corruption, and the greatest corruption is the inability to dispense justice, timely. And that has made Nigerians to lose hope in the judiciary system. A situation where someone is granted bail for a murder case does not pass the right message.
“Evidently, there is bribery in the areas of law enforcement and justice dispensation. We, obviously, have a lot of challenges in the system and there’s need for urgent reforms. And lawyers have greater responsibility to lead in this revolution.”
He, however, disagreed with the laud call for the scrapping of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) award on the basis that the selection and appointment system has been deeply politicized and manipulated.
“Scrapping SAN may not serve any purpose but leaving it may serve many purposes. It instill discipline and competition among the practitioners. Those who aspire to be SAN are always careful and hardworking. If SAN is scrapped, legal practitioners may not have nothing to aspire again and that may result in misbehavior and lack of competition,” he added.