Executive arm paying lip service to independence of judiciary ― Lawyers, academics

• We won't allow judiciary come cap in hand ― Makinde

The need for the executive to guarantee the true independence of the judiciary was stressed by lawyers and academics as the Oyo State judiciary marked the commencement of the 2019 legal year, on Monday.

In their various addresses, they noted that the executive continued to pay lip service the autonomy of the judiciary going by the disobedience of court orders, the clampdown on heads of judiciary perceived to be rigid and inadequate funding.

Speaking at the event held at Central Mosque, Oja-Oba, Ibadan, Chairman, Muslim Lawyers’ Association of Nigeria (MULAN), Oyo state chapter, Mr Akeem Adetunji, held that instances of gross disobedience of court judgment were tantamount to ridicule of the judiciary as a less important arm of government.

Making reference to the liberty with which the executive and legislature allocate huge sums of money for their affairs, Adetunji described the judiciary as the least funded arm of government.

“We urge the executive arm of government not to pay lip service to independence of the judiciary while the executive and the legislative arm of government are experts in manoeuvring their ways and appropriating mouthwatering emoluments to themselves. The judiciary is least funded especially when the head of a particular arm of the judiciary is perceived to be rather too rigid.

” In the same vein, court orders and judgments are flagrantly disobeyed especially when it is against the government. There are ways laid down to register displeasure or disagreement with an order or judgment of a court rather than gross disobedience and a subtle ridicule of a not less important arm of government,” Adetunji said.

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Speaking in the same vein, Executive Secretary, Muslim Ummah of South-West Nigeria (MUSWEN), Professor D.O.S Noibi noted that the judiciary could only be effective in its dispensation of justice if granted financial independence by the executive.

Noting that the increase in crime was a pointer to the inadequacies of the judiciary, Noibi, represented by Professor Sabit Olagoke, held that the right synergy between the judiciary and executive will bring about the desired justice, equity, peace and sustainable development in the society.

Delivering the sermon for the occasion, Professor Wole Abbas of the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Ibadan, charged the executive arm to provide adequate facilities for the judiciary to shun criminality in their dispensation of justice.

Warning that the society would come useless if people lose hope in the justice system, Abbas said it was imperative for the executive and legislature to cooperate with the judiciary for the good of the society.

“Justice, fairness and equity is determined and carried out by judges so there is no amount of support by the executive too much for the judiciary to enable it carry out its duties well to ensure a peaceful environment for the citizenry. “Members of the judiciary and other agencies working in concert with it should be committed to Allah in order not to derail.

“Our judges should not hesitate to bring the wrong to book.

“The executive should try to descend from the high up to low and feel the yearnings of the people so as to provide basic amenities that will deter them from committing crime,” Abbas said.

Represented by his deputy, Mr Rauf Olaniyan, Governor Seyi Makinde avowed the commitment of the state government to adequate funding of the judiciary.

“The judiciary ensures order in the society. On the part of the executive, this government will provide all the needed ingredients for judiciary to survive.

“This government has made a promise that we won’t allow the judiciary to come cap in hand begging for their rights. Everything will be done to make dispensation of justice easier,” Makinde said.

In his remarks, Chairman, Nigeria Bar Chairman, Ibadan branch, Mr John Akintayo, represented by his vice, Mr Ibrahim Lawal, charged parents to pay closer attention to their children for crime to reduce in the society.

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