Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, designate Dahiru Musdapher Wednesday canvassed implementation of a death sentence for corrupt officials, accusing state governors of frustrating the independence of judiciary in the country.
Speaking at his appearance before the Senate, Musdapher insisted that for corruption to be minimized in the country a capital punishment must be meted out to offenders. The lawmakers for the office confirmed him.
He said the judiciary was ready to commence the enforcement of capital punishment for corrupt persons. The CJN argued that capital punishment for anybody who is involved in corruption would help in the fight against corruption in the land.
He also called for the review of the law governing Nigeria Judicial Council, NJC, stressing that the law was obsolete. He complained of high number of appeal cases pending at the supreme court, asking the senate to accelerate the review of the Act to limit the number of cases at the Supreme Court.
Musadapher added that reviewing the Nigeria Judicial Council law will enhance greater performance, as he vowed to reposition the judiciary for better performance in the country.
According to him, “By and large, the judiciary is independent in this country, probably here and there you may find some odd things going on, but by and large we try to do the best that we can. But the problems has to do with the problems with state governments in relation to section 121 (3) of the Constitution dealing with the statutory that are given to the state, is often not transmitted to the heart of the courts in the states.
“Sometimes there are problems in the state of getting their due share of what has been granted them by the state governments. We are talking with government to please comply with the Constitutional provision and give the judiciary their dues .
“I want to have better judiciary within the time available to me, I want to call stakeholders meeting. We will do the best thing we can do so that we can restore public confidence and people can be happy that we have a good judiciary that is alive to its responsibility.”
Speaking on corruption in the country, Musdapher said any step taken towards reducing the state of corruption would be considered. He however referred the issue to the legislators, noting that capital punishment for serious crimes operate in most countries of the world. He also blamed some of the delays in accessing court judgment on the numerous petitions that judges have to work on. He said there should be limitations to the number of appeals coming to the Supreme Court.
Political corruption is not a recent phenomenon that pervades the Nigerian state. Since the creation of modern public administration in the country, there have been cases of official misuse of resources for personal enrichment.
The rise of public administration and the discovery of oil and natural gas are two major events seen to have led to a litany of ignoble corrupt practices in the country. Over the years, the country has seen its wealth withered with little to show in living conditions of the average human being. A Nigerian political leader, Obafemi Awolowo raised a salient issue when he said, since independence, our governments have been a matter of few holding the cow for the strongest and most cunning to milk, Under those circumstances everybody runs over everybody to make good at the expense of others.