Chief Judges now kneel before govs to require for money– Human rights lawyer, Effiong

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A Lagos-based human rights legal representative, Mr. Inibehe Effiong(Esq )has regreted that up till now, judicial autonomy is still misleading in Nigeria.He noted that such has actually supposedly subjected chief judges to kneel prior to state guvs for them to make financial releases for execution of judiciary tasks.

Effiong, who was a guest speaker at the ‘Excellent Summit Law TED Talk 2022’, Faculty of Law, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, noted that Section 81 of the constitution and area 162, enable judiciary be put under first line charge to ensure its autonomy however regretted that such is yet to be understood in Nigeria.

According to him, “They have turned judiciary to a department in the ministry of justice, now, each month, chief judges need to go and kneel before guvs to plead for money in order to perform jobs for the judiciary, even for things as petty as printing of almanacs.”

The human rights activist, who spoke on the theme, “Lawyer: The voice of the voiceless,” noted that such an act would tie chief judges to the apron strings of governors, therefore hindering justice in matters the guvs may be interested in as they would be under pressure to please the governors.

“You understand when a governor has interest in a matter, the judge will be under pressure because the judiciary, unfortunately today, is not absolutely independent,” he stated

Attending to the last year trainees, Effiong, who is an alumnus of the faculty, noted that before they can give voice to the voiceless, they should, to start with, build their foundation by taking their research studies seriously, adding that they need to not take their law clinic for granted as such would groom them on some of the practical truths they might deal with as legal representatives in future.

He also charged them to be confident, shun cultism, be tenacious and always have the courage to state what is right.

When asked of his position about the agitation of the Indigenous People Of Biafran, IPOB, he stated, “I don’t believe Nigeria needs to be polarized, if you split Nigeria today and you have Biafra, the very same individuals who impoverished Nigeria will also remain in Biafra, and hold political power, the problem is not about separation of Nigeria however directly on management.

“I support short article 20 of the African Chatter, that guarantees the right to the man’s self-determination and you can not criminalize a right that is acknowledged under worldwide instruments to which Nigeria is a signatory, that is recognized under our constitution in Chapter Four, I believe they (IPOB) deserve to demonstration and need for a various country supplied it is done legally.”