March 4, 2017
ENUGU— An Enugu-based lawyer and a seasoned political analyst, Hon. Nwabueze Ugwu, has stressed the need for individuals in the country to begin to obey court orders and the rule of law, calling for a capital punishment for defaulters.
Hon. Ugwu also advocated for the full independence of the judiciary under the newly appointed Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Nkanu Onnoghen. He noted that a full compliance and obedience to the rulings of the court and its processes goes a long way in determining a civil and a developed society.
According to the lawyer, “the ruling of a court of law is the only instrument that the court has to carry out its duties and responsibilities and every judge in this country ought to guide his orders very jealously.
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“A situation whereby a person desecrates the orders of a court of law or even the processes of a court of law, when the orders are made, it must be obeyed. When there are processes before a court of law, those processes must be accorded that respect that the judiciary deserves.
“If somebody is served with a court process and the person turns out to beat the belief that served him with the court process, that person should find himself in the four walls of a prison. That person no matter who he is, has no business continuing to be free because he has desecrated the judicial sanctity.”
On the appointment of Chief Justices of Nigeria into office, Hon Ugwu said that hitherto, Nigeria has not been getting it well as she is always in the habit of appointing judges who are nearing their constitutional retirement stage.
“If you send somebody who have months to vacate office as a member of the Supreme court like when P.K Nwokedi has six months to go, he was sent to the Nigerian Supreme Court, so what do you expect?”
Speaking on the same vein, another Enugu-based human rights lawyer, Barrister Vincent Obetta, while addressing the issues and challenges before the new CJN, Justice Onnoghen, which includes the issue of giving speedy trial to cases, and obeying court orders, noted that there are myriads of challenges before every judge sitting in Nigeria, adding that the new CJN has mapped out strategies to reform the judiciary even when still under the acting capacity.
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In his words, “the new CJN when in acting capacity, came up with four major plans to reform the judiciary. Firstly, he said he is going to fast track the investigation of petitions against serving judicial officers that was received from the public and secondly, he said that Judges should submit their judgements to be reviewed by a panel every quarter and then the third, he ordered the restriction of oversea trips without approval from his office as the acting CJN. Finally, he said that Senior judicial officers and judges from now will begin to write exams to be able to qualify for promotions. It will no longer come to them automatically.
“So all these are the challenges he had raised before now and then he had already built it into what he was doing as an acting CJN.”
Obetta stated that the present CJN is the first to be grilled by relevant agencies and given a clean bill of health before his confirmation.
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“He is a conscientious judge. In the UKJ’s case in Nnewi where children of a deceased man came to say the woman has no rights over the properties in her father’s estate even when the girl was one of the most beloved of that man.
“The matter moved up to the Supreme court and then this same judge; the present CJN, gave judgment to say ‘no’, that under the law, both women and men has equal rights to the inheritance of their parents’ properties.”
“So, these are the issues that we will look at. The antecedents of the new CJN has given us a very green light at the end of the tunnel and I believe that there will be a very great reform that will come in thereafter,” he added.
By Chukwuemeka Chimerue
Published By Nwosu C.S
For Biafra Writers