A former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Olumide Akpata, has described how Nigerian political elites have turned judges into beggars.
A current Labour Party Governorship aspirantin Edo State, Akpata said some state Chief Judges kneel before their governors to beg for funds, official vehicles and accommodations.
The former NBA president said these while speaking recently at the International Bar Association (IBA) Conference in Paris, France.
According to Akpata, the absence of financial autonomy and the impoverishment of Nigerian judges have turned them into tools in the hands of politicians.
Akpata also claimed that some judges live above their legitimate income and send their children to Ivy Leagues like Cambridge, Yale and Harvard.
He said, “Some chief judges kneel before the governors to beg for funds, official vehicles or accommodations.
“When you know a man (judge) that knows the law, but his judgement flies against the face of what the law should be, you know that there is something else motivating him or her.”
Speaking further, Akpata stated that the Nigerian judiciary cannot produce a good judge because of the selection process used by the National Judicial Council (NJC).
He stated that there is a deliberate attempt by the political class in Nigeria to capture the judiciary because those who show up as judges have no business being there.
He said: “For a good judge to emerge out of that process is by fluke only; sheer luck with the judicial appointment in Nigeria. It is ridiculous.
“While I was president of the NBA, what I found out was that there is a deliberate attempt on the part of the political class in Nigeria to capture the judiciary. And that has very insidious consequences for the rule of law in Nigeria. It is deliberate, and it is intentional. And it is achieving results for them.”