I’m worried that judiciary has not lived up to expectation, says Buhari




President Muhammadu Buhari says he is worried that
the expectation of the public is yet to be met by the
judiciary.
The president lamented that the corruption cases filed
by his administration are not progressing as speedily
as they should be.
Speaking in Abuja on Monday during a workshop on
the role of judges in the fight against corruption, Buhari
expressed concern over the “toleration of delay tactics
by lawyers”.
He appealed to the judiciary to support his
administration’s fight against corruption, saying a well-
functioning criminal justice system seeks to move the
country towards greater growth and development.
“I am worried that the expectation of the public is yet to
be met by the judiciary with regard to the removal of
delay and the toleration of delay tactics by lawyers,” he
said.
“When cases are not concluded the negative
impression is given that crime pays. So far, the
corruption cases filed by government are not
progressing as speedily as they should in spite of the
administration of criminal justice act of 2015
essentially because the courts allow some lawyers to
frustrate the reforms introduced by law.
“This certainly needs to change if we have to make
success of our collective effort in the fight against
corruption. As we are all aware, I have made the fight
against corruption one of the top priorities of this
administration in the hope of restoring the economy
and building a new Nigeria.
“In the face of dwindling revenues and in a bid at
repositioning Nigeria’s economy, it became obligatory
to swiftly tackle two ills: waste and corruption. The
eradication of corruption is a joint task involving not
only judges and members of the legal profession, but
all stakeholders, including all branches of government,
the media, the civil society and the general citizenry.
“The challenge is to come up with an integrated
approach that balances process and substance,
promote clarity so as to ensure a coherent and realistic
formulation of objectives. To this end, the judiciary is
duty bound to keep its house in order and to ensure
that the public, which it serves, sees this. Thus, we
cannot expect to make any gains in the war against
corruption in our society when the judiciary is seen as
being distant from the struggle. This will not augur well
and its negative effect will impact all sectors of
society.
“The judiciary must fight delay of cases in court as well
as it fights corruption within its own ranks perceived or
otherwise. We expect to see less tolerance to delay
tactics used by defense lawyers or even the
prosecution in taking cases to their conclusion.”
He commended the judiciary for its efforts to foster
justice and accountability, adding that while
recognising those efforts, it is worth reminding
“ourselves of the persisting challenges that confront
the criminal justice system”.

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