The Presidency is still in lamentation about the corruption that is walking tall in the Nigerian judiciary, saying: “to obtain a court ruling you must pay through your nose; to obtain a certified true copy of judgment you must pay through nose; to cause a court bailiff to serve a court process you must pay through your nose.
“To get a case to be assigned after filing you must pay through your nose. Even in the Supreme Court to get an appeal to be assigned for hearing you must pay through your nose.”
The Special Assistant to the President on Prosecution, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, who made the lamentation in s statement in Abuja today, Monday, said that a case he filed at the Supreme Court 10 years ago is yet to be assigned a date for hearing due to corruption and inefficiency.
According to him, lawyers and litigants “pay through their noses” to have cases assigned or court papers served.
The judiciary, he said, was averse to reform and should learn from the Kenyan example where every stakeholder worked towards an efficient justice system.
“Why is the judicial system in Nigeria adverse to change? Look at Kenya and how it has reformed its own system!
“See how effective and efficient the judiciary is in Kenya. See how audacious, bold, courageous and fearless judges in Kenya are.
“See how an election petition was heard within dispatch just three weeks after it was filed. See how lawyers work together with the bench to deliver a landmark judgment.
“In Nigeria lawyers would devise all manners of legal maneuverings steeped in crass legal technicalities to frustrate justice. The judgment would be leaked several weeks before delivery.”
According to him, the appellate courts are chaotic and have refused to adopt technology despite increased funding.
“Before I was given an appointment while in law practice, I have appeals I have filed in the Court of Appeal for the past six years but till now have not been heard. I also have several appeals I filed in the Supreme Court since 2007 till now no date have been given for hearing of these appeals.
“The registries in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court respectively are a study in chaos, disorderliness and confusion. They have refused to embrace Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to organize their registry in line with international best practices.”[myad]