The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has blamed the ineffective judicial performance on lack of character.
Wike said Judges now lack the courage, and decency to live up to their judicial oaths in the discharge of their functions. He also said due to the prevailing political uncertainty in the country, democracy and the rule of law are under constant threat.
The Rivers state governor said this at the launch of the book titled, “Legal Paradigm in Nigeria: A New Direction in the Study of Law and Practise,” in honour of retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Hon. Justice Abdul Aboki, on Friday in Abuja.
Governor Wike emphasised that the country and its democracy can only survive if the judicial system is strong and alive. “The judiciary dies where it lies comatose and removed from the aspirations of the citizens for good governance, the rule of law, the protection of fundamental rights and the guarantee of free and fair elections.
“The judiciary dies when it can easily be manipulated; when justice can be procured; when the injustice is rendered in place of justice to the aggrieved parties; or when resort to self-help and other means of redress outside the law becomes the preferred norm by citizens “Nevertheless, this is possible only when the judiciary is able to assert itself without fear or favour, upholding the truth at all times and standing up to any other power or principality that attempts to undermine or override its constitutional responsibilities, powers and processes.
“Justice could be delayed, which is not acceptable, but it must never be refused or denied for the judiciary to serve as an effective watchdog of our democracy and thwart the evil intentions of the enemies of the people. “Let us, therefore, continue to call on the Federal Government to strengthen our judiciary system by resolving the challenges militating against judicial effectiveness as I have done in Rivers State where we have continued to prioritise the independence of the judiciary improving the working and living conditions of our judges beyond measure,” Wike said.
On his part, the governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, commended Justice Aboki for his meritorious service to the nation.