Mr Bayo Akinlade, Chairman of the Ikorodu branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), has underscored the need for the independence of the Judiciary to promote a fearless justice system.
Akinlade, who is the convener of the Fight Against Corruption in the Judiciary (FIACIJ), made the call in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Sunday in Lagos.
He said the judiciary was not independent in all aspects of its composition and administration, and itemised a workable framework to truly achieve its independent.
“The judiciary is not truly independent in all aspects of its composition and administration.
“And to make the judiciary truly independent, we must put in place a monitoring system to track how and when funds are released to the judiciary.
“There must be regular interaction and compliance protocols by the NBA to ensure that the executive comply with judicial independence.
“There must be strengthening of the relationships between the Bar and the Bench so that the bar is truly seen as the mouth piece of the judiciary,’’ he said.
According to Akinlade, the absence of judicial independence will, among other negative effects, occasion delay in the administration of justice, create judicial compromise and corruption as well as lack of intellectual and infrastructural capacity.
He also said that financial autonomy for the judiciary remained the foundation of its independence, without which there would be no real independence.
The branch NBA boss said: “It is the duty of every citizen to champion the cause of true judicial independence, as we are all stakeholders in justice administration’’.
“A call on NBA is a call on every one of us, whether in the bar, on the bench, in the military, in companies, in the executive arm and legislative arm, in the police, or in the press; we have lawyers everywhere; NBA is you and I.
“We all need to act as lawyers and be our own client for once.
“The judiciary is a part of the NBA and we must appreciate this insight to develop strategies to make it better.’’
He expressed optimism that the goals of independence can be achieved with understanding and determination.
(Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde/Peter Ejiofor)
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