Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar Needs Support


There is no doubt that corruption and ineptitude have permeated all facets of our national life, the judiciary inclusive. This is why all attempts by the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar, to sanitise the judiciary should be supported by all lovers of justice.

The judiciary as the third arm of government plays a critical role in the life of individuals and the nation. That is why it is often referred to as the last hope of the common man. It is charged with the interpretation of the law and the dispensation of justice. A wrong interpretation will have untold consequences on the lives of individuals and the state. Everything should therefore be done to purge it of bad eggs.

Justice Mukhtar recently embarked on measures aimed at repositioning the country’s judiciary which is mired in a cesspool of inefficiency and corruption.

Justice Mukhtar who is also the Chairman of the National Judicial Council, NJC, in February recommended the compulsory retirement of three controversial judges found to have desecrated the temple of justice with their alleged questionable conduct.

The judges are Abubakar Talba, Thomas Naron and Charles Archibong. The NJC recommended that they should be retired on ethical grounds. Justice Talba was the one who sentenced self-confessed pension thief, Yakubu Yusufu, to two years imprisonment on a three-count charge with an option of fine of N250, 000 on each charge.

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Yusufu had during his trial pleaded guilty to stealing N2 billion of about N30 billion he was charged with by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. He promptly paid the N750,000 fine and was set free but was later re-arrested and tried on another charge by the commission.

In his own case, Justice Naron, was investigated by the NJC for the scandalous ruling he led three other judges to give at the first election petition tribunal in Osun State after the controversial 2007 elections.

Call records showed that Justice Naron and former governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola’s lawyer, Kunle Kaleijaye, were having secret discussions prior to the controversial ruling. Justice Archibong who presided over the case of alleged rogue banker, Erastus Akingbola, was also disciplined by the NJC for judicial misconduct.

Justice Mukhtar has further taken her reform of the judiciary to the courts of lazy judges who adjourn cases frequently without any excuse. Some of them hardly sit for an hour before adjourning the numerous cases assigned to them. This has led to cases piling up and taking longer than necessary before judgment is delivered.

Receiving a report on the performance of the judiciary from 2008 to 2011, Justice Mukhtar observed that some judges cannot deliver up to two or three judgments in a quarter and vowed  to sack them. She said that after looking at the dismal performance of some judges, some of them who cannot deliver three to four judgments in a year will be shown the way out. Justice Mukhtar should be given all the support needed to carry out the onerous task of weeding out corrupt and lazy judges on the Bench.

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