Basically, the role of the judiciary in the current fight against corruption in the country is nothing to write about. Nigerians have actually had very negative opinions from the constitution that help to strengthen the fight. The economic and financial crimes commission Act as well as the Independent corrupt practices Commission Act; have been very weak in fighting corruption in the country.
The Nigeria judiciary itself has created a lot of problem and is unwilling to win the battle against corruption. I absolute believe that the judiciary itself does have big questions that it has to answer about its own credibility. Some Nigerians say it has lots of skeletons that will have to expunge from its system.
Therefore, the judiciary has gone quite some length to cover up corrupt issues within the institution. Corruption is encompassing. Corruption itself is not about stealing money or moving a bag of money from one place or country to another. Technically speaking, the given of Bakasi peninsula to Cameroun government by the former president in person of Olusegun Obasanjo is tantamount to corruption. Because we, the Nigerians were not consulted by the former president, Olusegun Obasanjo to hand over the Island to Cameron government. Such decision or act taken by Olusegun Obasanjo should have gone through the normal process or constitution process which is referendum form to get the Nigerians consent on the decision to give Cameron government the Island (Bakassi peninsula). While handling of bakassi peninsula to Cameroun without launching an investigation into the matter, the judiciary definitely lay or rolled out carpet for corruption to continue to thrive in the country.
Categorically speaking, charity begins at home. The first step for the judiciary is to embark on self evaluation. It absolutely needs to sit down and clean up its act before it too late. Most powerful people found corruption in this dear country (Nigeria) are those who have ruled as president, ministers, senators, governors, local government chairmen to mentioned a few. After their term or serving term in office, the judiciary failed to launch an investigation on some allegation about them during their stay in office, therefore, for that reasons, the judiciary has created a breaking ground for corruption to thrive, thereby not inspire public confidence in the judicial system of Nigeria. The judiciary failed the Nigerians in its fight against corruption.
Moreover, the integrity of the Nigeria judiciary system is not intact at all. We really have to be honest about this. Many Nigerian are now skeptical of the judiciary than they were ten years ago. The feeling that most Nigerians get is this: What is really happening at the judiciary?
Right now, many people are inclined to conclude that this is not the supreme court that they we (Nigerians) used to know or hear about. The Nigerian judiciary has really gotten itself into a very deep water that is not good for its image and has also been plagued by lots of perception of problems.
Most of the time the judiciary has been accused of stalling the prosecution of some state governors, powerful politicians accused of fraud by resorting to plea bargaining. The plea bargaining has no place in the Nigeria constitution, therefore, the judiciary is not doing what is taught by the law to do and must of the time ensure that the legal process is abused.
Nigeria constitution does not in any way make the provision for plea bargain. Why does some state now has specific provisions for people(criminals) to seek for plea bargaining even though it doesn’t exist in Nigerian constitution?
Does plea bargaining makes a country like Nigeria free from corruption? To the extent the court and the prosecutors’ plea bargain for serious offences which are absolutely detrimental to corruption free society or nation like Nigeria.
Please we absolutely need an answer from our judiciary where the plea bargaining exist in the constitution of Nigeria. Plea bargaining means 50¬-50. In other words you bring 50 percent among the 100 percent you stole and you return the remaining 50 per cent.
AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSTY, ZARIA.