Democracy, rule of law under threat without upright judiciary – Wike


 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has said democracy and the rule of law in Nigeria is constantly under threat.

The Governor made the assertion on Friday in Abuja at the lunch of a book, “Legal Paradigm in Nigeria: A New Direction in the Study of Law and Practice,” in honour of retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Hon. Justice Abdul Aboki.

He blamed the development on the prevailing political uncertainty in the country, saying the judiciary must live up to its responsibilities.

Governor Wike also noted that lack of character and courage by some judges and their inability to live up to their oath of office could be blamed for “ineffective judicial performance”.

According to him “The judiciary dies where it lies comatose and removed from the aspirations of the citizens for good governance, the rule of law, the protection of fundamental rights and the guarantee of free and fair elections.

“The judiciary dies when it can easily be manipulated; when justice can be procured, when injustice is rendered in place of justice to the aggrieved parties, or when a resort to self-help and other means of redress outside the law becomes the preferred norm by citizens.”

Wike, however, noted that the nation still believes that the judiciary can save the country by ensuring justice and equity.

“Nevertheless, this is possible only when the judiciary is able to assert itself without fear or favour, upholding the truth at all times and standing up to any other power or principality that attempts to undermine or override its constitutional responsibilities, powers and processes”, he declared.

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