2021 Ogun Judges’ Conference: Jurists calls for judicial autonomy

The Ogun State Chief Judge, Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu has stressed the importance for the two arms of government; executive and legislative, to give priority to the judicial system of government through autonomise the sector.

Dipeolu spoke at the 2021 Ogun State Judges’ Conference with the theme “The Challenges Of The Judiciary In Contemporary Nigeria”, held at Judiciary Complex, Kobape Road, Abeokuta,

She added that judiciary is the guardian and protector of fundamental human rights as well as the arbiter of disputes among all levels of government, which ought to be independent so as be free to perform its functions without fear or favour.

The guest speaker, Dr. Muiz Banire, said that the challenges confronting the contemporary judiciary was the need to understand the importance of the concept of the independence of judiciary.

He noted that it was only in the presence of an independent judiciary that the confidence of the public could be sustained in the administration of justice.

“In fact, of fundamental importance, if other branches of government will not be allowed to assume the status of a monster, is to ensure the existence and independence of the judicial authorities, so that their decisions are reached in accordance with law and not in submission to the wishes of government or upon other extraneous considerations”, Banire said

Banire added that the process of selection of judges now dominated by desperate applications and politicians who often mount pressure for appointment, noting that political surrogates who have not been in practice for years or whose knowledge of law below the standard required.

“Indeed, the doctrine of separation of powers is well entrenched in the constitutions of many nations of the world, and the reason being that powers should not be concentrated in one organ of government, so as to avoid arbitrariness and tyranny”, he said

One of the discussants, Mr. Ebun Olu-Adegboruwa, said that topic of for theme, comes at a time when a negative perception of the Nigerian Judiciary is pervasive perhaps erroneously among the common man in the Nigeria polity.

He said that going by the democratic system of government in operation, the powers of the federal republic of Nigeria were basically operated through tiers of government, the Legislative, the Executive and the Judiciary, adding that judiciary was the closest and most accessible branch of government to the common man.

According to him the role of judiciary could not be over emphasized being the stabilizer in a political system wherein it plays a divine role as the guardian and custodian of the constitution.

He noted that it was further invested with the power to checkmate the other arms of government by compelling the legislature to act within its constitution limits while performing its legislative duties.