A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Babatunde Fashanu, says the judiciary deserves commendation for its performance in 2017.
He lauded the Supreme Court, for instance, for how it brilliantly and decisively resolved some delicate political cases, including that of the Abia State governorship election.
He urged the apex court to sustain the tempo in the New Year by being fearless in its decisions and striving to achieve complete independence.
“The Supreme Court should also be consistent to reduce the incidence of its own conflicting judgments and those of different divisions of the Court of Appeal,” Fashanu said in an interview.
He advocated an improvement in the conditions of service for judges and courts’ support staff as well as the upgrading of the court facilities to aid speedy dispensation of justice.
“The Bar also has a role to play. The current NBA has set up panels to look into certain areas affecting the dispensation of justice in Nigeria. We expect positive results out of this, which, of course, should aid the judiciary towards a better performance this year,” Fashanu said.
He also called on the Supreme Court to ensure the resolution of some of the contentious decisions by the lower courts in 2017.
Among such, he said, was the Court of Appeal’s judgment, holding that serving judges cannot be prosecuted for criminal offences committed in their line of duty until they have been probed and their cases decided by the National Judicial Council.
“Since an appeal is expected against the decision of the Court of Appeal curtailing the power of the executive to prosecute judges for criminal matters related to their office, the Supreme Court must sort this out decisively in 2018 as a matter of urgent public and constitutional matter,” he said.