Autonomy for judiciary will boost fight against corruption – Balami
By Daniel Tyokua
A retired Judge of the FCT High Court, Justice Mwada Balami has said that the fight against corruption in Nigeria will be successfully achieved when Judiciary is giving full fledged autonomy.
In an interaction with journalists recently, he urged government at all levels to allow for the practice of principles independence of the judiciary to exist.
He said undue interference in the affairs of the judiciary especially the reluctance of the executive arm to allow the judiciary control over its finances and appointments has made nonsense of the separation of powers as enshrined in the nation’s constitution.
The retired Judge noted that unnecessary political control has crippled the judiciary and that administrative officers of the justice system have been reduced to beggars who must request for everything from the executive to run their offices.
Balami said the recent strike by the Judicial Staff Workers of Nigeria (JUSUN) was caused by the neglect of the judiciary by state governors who expect judges to come cap in hand to beg for everything including their legitimate salaries and allowances.
“State governors have reduced the judiciary to something pitiable in the present dispensation”
He said that at the federal level, things are better but state governors expect judges and magistrates to knell down with plates in their hands to beg for those things that are their right.
“The long strike has set back the growth of the judiciary. The governor do not give the judiciary its capital votes and the chief judge must not beg before even their office requirements are provided.
“Independence means that each arm should be autonomous financially and administratively and should not be relying on another arm to do its work. This is the only way the checks and balances can work out.”