Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has accused the National Judicial Council of being “a willing tool” of intimidating judges “who are simply discharging their duties”.
The governor made the claim at the book presentation entitled: Contemporary Essays on Law & Practice in honour of retired Justice Anwuri Ichegbu Chikere of the Federal High Court on Friday.
Gov. Wike noted that when judges are subjected to “summary trials” and preconceived indictment by the agency, judicial independence is eroded.
According to him, the NJC may be joining the league of unholy forces working against the independence of the judiciary and judicial officers.
He said, “My candid opinion is that the National Judicial Council must thread with utmost caution in matters of judicial complaints and discipline lest it wittingly or unwittingly turns itself into another bully to be feared rather than being respected in its roles as both the headmaster and guardian angel of the nation’s judiciary.”
He further noted that no democracy can survive without a courageous, efficient and effective judiciary.
There was also a time when our judges were respected all over the world for their independence, courage and credibility.
Again, time was when decisions from Nigerian courts were widely accepted and celebrated across the world as timeless models of judicial precedents.
But today, what is your candid assessment of the character and integrity of our country’s judiciary, which is becoming more confusing and painfully contradictory.”