The Bar and the bench have over time been seen as partners in progress. This is primarily because the bar feeds the bench with the manpower that eventually grow to populate the bench and the bench sits and adjudicated over the Cases brought before it, for justice to be served.
However, the bench has in recent times come under intense scrutiny over the perceived laxity and maladministration of Justice. This has been perceived by some to be a result of the Executive overstepping its boundaries and putting untoward pressure on the judiciary.
Taking a vox populi from the community to which this situation affects directly, we were able to deduce from a notable silk, Mr Paul Usoro, SAN what his views are on the effects the control the Executive exerts on the judiciary would cause to the system.
” This is a problem that is perhaps bigger than most people can see or even understand. It does appear that the Executive, mostly at the center is prone to having its way in courts all the time & brook no failure, no matter how misconceived or misguided its way might be. In the processes subtle and not-so-subtle processes are deployed in corralling the Bench and ensuring the Executive has its way always.
The First thing to do is to sensitize the Bar (and the Bench, indeed) and let us understand the dangers we face and how the Rule of Law, if we are not careful and vigilant, could be completely eroded and undermined. It would be necessary to engage the Bench in particular and bring to the attention of the jurists the dangers we all face if the excesses of the Executive are not checked and to remind them, members of the Bench, that they may someday fall victim if these excesses are not checked.
The voice of the NBA must also be heard quite stridently and clear and at all times, in defense of the Rule of Law and whenever there’s any threat thereto.”