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Find out the rot in the judicial system Dattijo spoke about – Fmr NBA President, Agbakoba

Former NBA President. Olisa Agbakoba | Val9ja News

A former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Olisa Agbakoba, has asked the National Judicial Council, NJC, not to let the issues raised by retired Justice Musa Dattijo Muhammad in his valedictory speech be swept under the carpet.


Agbakoba stated this in an interview with Arise Television, Tuesday.

While speaking, the former NBA president noted that the NJC needs to take action in order to address the ‘rot’ in Nigeria’s judicial system, which rtd justice Dattijo talked about as he stressed that Dattijo’s speech was not maligning the character of Chief Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, but only addressing the inconsistencies of the office.

According to Agbakoba who recalled that the corruption that Dattijo mentioned in his recent speech was also mentioned by Justice Samson Uwaifo in his valedictory speech in 2004, argued that Dattijo used the office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) to describe the ‘rot’ that is occurring in the legal system and not Ariwoola himself.

He said, “I think what lessons we should draw from what Justice Dattijo had said is to implement a report that was put together, in my view, perhaps the most reformist CJN in Nigeria, that is, the late Justice Dahiru Mustapha.”

“The problem with judges is that they have no clue as to judicial administration versus administration of justice,” he added.

“He really wasn’t attacking the current CJN. He was referring more to the institutional lapses that has occurred over the last, God knows, how long now.”

The former NBA president claimed that the situation with the Supreme Court is ‘toxic’, and it needs to change.

He said, “The difference between a judge of the high court and the CJN is like God in heaven and somebody on earth. We need to really take the opportunity of the lesson, I think, that Dattijo Muhammed’s valedictory, which has been the most candid, has given us. It’s to understand where we are in the judiciary, and if we want to reverse judicial failure, then the current NJC must implement it.”

“Public opinion of the judiciary is at its lowest ebb, and I think that this is something that the judiciary ought to take very seriously. They ought to take the points made by Justice Dattijo Mohammed extremely seriously. The judiciary is going to go downhill.”

“Of the three arms of government—the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary—the most undemocratic is actually the judiciary, so that’s where the problem is. So, what I would recommend to the current NJC is to have a very good look at the report, update it, and absolutely remove the powers of the CJN to be everywhere,” he said.

Olisa Agbakoba, is a former president of the Nigerian Bar Association from 2006 to 2008 and a founding partner of Olisa Agbakoba and Associates, a leading maritime specialist law firm in Lagos. He is also the founder of Nigeria’s foremost human rights organization, the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO).

The former NBA President became known through his work in human rights and democracy movement in Nigeria.

According to sources, he was also the founder of United Action for Democracy and the Zambian pan-African human rights organization AfroNet, as well as a defender for the Civil Rights activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa who was executed and was arrested several times because of his pro – democratic activities.

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