Law and Crime

There is Attempt to Capture Judiciary in Nigeria, Says Akpata, Former NBA President

A former President of Nigeria Bar Association, Olumide Akpata has alleged before the International Bar Association (IBA) that there is an attempt by the political class to capture the judiciary.

Apata, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria was seen in a viral video addressing the IBA on the state of the judiciary while calling for their intervention

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In the video posted by another senior lawyer, Jibrin Samuel Okutepa, Akpata lamented the poor remuneration of Nigerian judges but noted that they are able to afford expensive foreign university fees for their kids.

Akpata added that judges now deliver judgements that are not in sync with the provision of the law and may have been motivated by something else.

 

He said “While I was President, what I found out was that there is a deliberate attempt on the political class in Nigeria to capture the judiciary and that has very insidious consequences for the Rule of Law in Nigeria.It is deliberate, intentional and achieving results for them

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“What we found out is that firstly, from the point of view from appointment as President of the Bar, I sat in the interview commitee for judges and what I saw was bizarre.I strongly have said that for a good judge to emerge in Nigeria out of that process will only be by sheer luck.

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“The impoverishment of judges in Nigeria and renumeration.I don’t even want to tell you what the judges earn in Nigeria.Meanwhile, they are still at the upper echelon of the society that is considered to be elites.

“Their kids want to go to Yale, Cambridge, Harvard.They definitely can’t afford it but I can assure you that they are in Cambridge here and in Harvard.Your guess is as good as mine as to how those kids get there.When we talk about calling them out because they are corrupt, we can call them out just by looking at their judgements.

“When you read their judgements and the man who you know knows the law and he goes against his judgement files against the face of what the law should be, you know that there is something else motivating him or her.

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“When we talk about 2020, we had the End SARS which was an uprising from the people and in Lagos, they went to same public institution’s including the High Court in Lagos.They burnt down the entire court building.My High School is next to the Court.They did not burn down my High School.The Federal Ministry of Works is next to the court and it wasn’t burnt down.The people went to the High Court and burnt it down.One picture that remains clear in my mind is a guy who had the gown of the Judge and the wig.He held both and a matchet in his hand.They were sending a message to us that we don’t get justice in this court because the kind of people who show up had no business being there.I don’t want us to lose sight of that” he said

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