Senior lawyers urge federal government to sanction more judges

Senior lawyers urge federal government to sanction more judges

- Some Senior Advocates of Nigeria have urged the federal government to scrutinise activities of Nigerian judges

- According to the group, extending the anti-graft exercise to other judges will restore confidence in the Judiciary

- The SANs include Ebun Sofunde, Jibrin Okutepa, Dr Babatunde Ajibade among others

As part of a way to reform the Nigerian judiciary, a group of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) under the aegis of the Justice Reform Project (JRP) on Tuesday, April 16, urged the federal government to look into the finances of other judicial officers.

The group specifically urged the federal government to sanction other judges whose legitimate earnings do not justify their wealth.

Going further, the group also said justice should run its course in the Onnoghen matter.

According to JRP, extending the anti-graft exercise to other judges will restore confidence in the Judiciary, The Nation reports.

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The group include Ebun Sofunde. Jibrin Okutepa, Dr Babatunde Ajibade, Prof Ernest Ojukwu, Osaro Eghobamien, Funke Adekoya, Kayode Sofola, among others.

The group in a statement said: “Beyond Honourable Justice W. S. N. Onnoghen, however, the JRP believes the revelations that have been made in the course of this affair necessitate that urgent steps be taken to identify and sanction all other Nigerian judicial officers who are found to possess inexplicable wealth that cannot be reconciled with their legitimate income or their asset declarations, two of the allegations made against Justice Onnoghen.

“These steps are necessary for a variety of reasons. First, to restore public confidence in the judiciary and disabuse the notion that all judicial officers in Nigeria are corrupt and that justice is for sale.

“Second, to disabuse the notion that Justice Onnoghen’s travails are a mere witch-hunt motivated by ethnic and political interests rather than the result of a genuine concern for sanitising and reforming the Nigerian judiciary."

Going further, the group said such move will eliminate the suspicion that the "executive arm of government is using the information it has access to by virtue of its control over the apparatus of the state to take selective action only against those judicial officers that fail to do its bidding,” it added.

Meanwhile, had reported that suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen reportedly said that he never confessed to hiding his bank accounts even as the prosecution claims he is guilty.

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This is coming as the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), which is trying Onnoghen, is said to have fixed judgment for Thursday, April 18. ( -> We have upgraded to serve you better.

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