CACOL condemns new NJP, says it will aid more corrupt practice
The judiciary, corrupt and sharp practices within the Arm of government has been in central focus lately, following the recent arrest of some suspected corrupt judges by men of the Department of State Service (DSS).
However, the National Judicial Council (NJC), as part of its plans to rid the judiciary of any corrupt activities on Monday launched a new National Judicial Policy (NJP), which sought to restrain judicial officers from accepting gifts, report of petitions before it in the media amongst others.
This policy states that the Council and any other judicial institutions is allowed to discard any complaintsagainst a judge or employee of the judiciary for investigation if after receiving the complaint it is leaked or discussed in the media.
Executive Chairman of the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), Debo Adeniran has however faulted some sections of the policy, stating that the aspect of the policy that is clearly designed to gag the Media and Nigerians at large, betrays the dishonesty in the policy itself as an anti-democratic proposal that is extremely unconstitutional and disgraceful.
“For why would the judiciary chose to ‘kill’ the Freedom of Information Act on the pedestal of shielding corruption? It validates the allegations and asserts from the different quarters that the judiciary is well soaked in corruption.
“Those who commit offenses in government institutions do so against the State and the country, hence, whatever petitions or allegations that are made should remain in the public eye as this would make sure that due processes are adhered to.
“We say no to the ‘pro-corruption’ policy being proposed by the NJC, disgraceful that a so sacred Arm of government is tricking to use every trick in the bag to shield suspected criminal judges when clearly the logical thing is to suspend them till their innocence is established. If the policy is allowed to operate, it would give access for so many irregularities to be perpetrated.
“The judiciary is established to protect the constitution, why will it now come up with a policy that stripes the Media and the generality of Nigerians of their rights to Freedom of Information which it ought to protect? Why is it now that the judiciary is saying it just procured the right to suspend erring judges after it suffered its self-earned public embarrassment?”
“Transparency and accountability are basic ingredients of governance wherever true democratic ethos is imbibed and imbued, the judiciary should come out clean; subjective itself to lawful and constitutional provisions to clearly command the respect it deserves rather than this apparent hypocrisy. The proposed ‘National Judicial Policy’ is anti-democratic; it will aid corrupt practices in the judiciary”, Adeniran concluded.
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