‘Nigeria should learn from Kenyan judiciary’

POlice officers man a barricade near the Kenyan Supreme Court in Nairobi on September 1, 2017 before the court delivers its judgment over an opposition petition challenging to the result of the August 8 presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / SIMON MAINA


Following the landmark judgment by the Kenyan Supreme Court, which nullified the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta, some Nigerians have called on the Nigerian judiciary to borrow a leaf from the East African country.

While a senior lawyer, Mr. Arthur Obi Okafor (SAN) said Kenya’s unique anti-corruption system holds members of the bench to account, a former federal legislator, Hon. Bernard Mikko, believes that courage to dispense justice according to process is what is needed in Nigeria.

Mikko told The Guardian that; “the significance of the Kenyan Supreme Court ruling on the country’s presidential election is that Nigerian judiciary should look more at the entire process of justice while delivering judgments, rather than looking at a single and specific event.”

He contended that; “the end should not be used to justify the means, because unacceptable procedures cannot lead to a justifiable end.”“The Kenyan apex court affirmed this position by proclaiming that the electoral processes were wrong even if the event, that is, the actual casting of votes, was largely seen to be free and fair. This is a landmark challenge.”

“The Kenyan Supreme Court proclaimed that law, justice and equity is a process and not an event while declaring the Kenyan presidential election null and void on the grounds that the processes leading to the election day were fraudulent and not in conformity with extant laws, thereby rendering the event on the election day a nullity,” he added.

Obi Okafor noted that while the issue of corruption in the judiciary could not be dismissed entirely, the remuneration and working conditions of judicial officials are nothing to write home about, adding that there are better ways of checking corruption without subjecting judges to psychological ambush.



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