Radical reform in the Nation’s Judicial Sector.1

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Apparently speaking, the judiciary is the principle substratum in the contemporary praxis of modern democracy. It is the sovereign arm of the functional state power for the preservation of the moral pillars upon which any society is built. As the beacon of hope for the ordinary citizens, the judiciary also remains the Pinnacle and hub of effective governance and democratic functionalism in any egalitarian society. It is an incontrovertible fact that an effective and transparent judiciary remains an indispensable contrivance for justice administration.
For the judiciary to carry out its noble task of protecting the legitimate rights of the citizens and administration of Justice, it must undergo some radical reformation which must include isolation from undue interference.
The idea of the Independence of the Judiciary apart from its original connotation within the theory of separation of power which makes it peculiar from other arms of Government, also connotes that the Judiciary must be free from any external pressure, this is because the judiciary remains the bulwark and the last bastion of the hope of the masses. But if the people lose confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary and the overall manner in which Justice is dispensed, then the rule of law will crumble and tumble like the biblical wall of Jericho. There is no doubt that our judicial sector is faced with many challenges which are undermining all efforts to restore the integrity and reputation of the sector.
With the banters the judiciary has faced since the present administration especially as concerns with conflicting electoral judgements it has become necessary and imperative to rekindle and restore once again the hope and confidence Nigerians have in the judiciary. Some set of radical reform initiatives must be put in place to break all conservative tendencies militating against achieving the needed reforms in the sector. This should include an intrepid commitment in strengthening the Independence, responsibility, efficiency and transparency of the judiciary, responding to the interrelated problems of delay Justice, cost and complexity in the nation’s legal system; promoting and implementing zero-tolerance principle with respect to corruption within the judiciary. Encouraging appropriate and timely settlement of disputes and diverting matters to more suitable dispute resolution processes. A strategic mechanism that will ensure functional and effective intercourse between the three arms of Government as regards to the administration of Justice should be fashioned. This can be possible by creating a National Council for the administration of Justice which shall be made up of Representatives of the three arms of Government with a clear mandate to oversee the implementation of the required reforms in the judiciary and the Justice sector. This has become necessary in view of the fact that achieving a virile Justice system in a constitutional democracy cannot only be the prerogative of the judiciary.

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