Judiciary Is Biggest Threat To Nigeria’s Democracy – Peter Obi

Peter Obi, the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 election, has expressed grave concerns over the current state of Nigeria’s judiciary, describing it as the most significant danger to the nation’s democracy. 

Obi shared these remarks during the fifth memorial of late Justice Anthony Aniagolu at the Godfrey Okoye University in Enugu.

Obi, a former governor of Anambra State, pointed out a concerning decline within the judicial system, emphasizing that this deterioration poses a severe threat to Nigeria’s future. 

He stressed that while the judiciary still boasts some outstanding judges, the overall system has been marred by the commodification of justice, where decisions are often influenced by financial incentives rather than the rule of law.

“Whenever democracy is discussed, fingers point to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the problem. But INEC is not the problem. Instead, the judiciary is. The judiciary is the biggest threat to Nigeria. If our judiciary is effective, our businesses will thrive,” Obi asserted.

He further elaborated that the rule of law is a critical pillar of society, and its compromise disproportionately affects the most vulnerable members, leading to a breakdown in social fabric, the integrity of institutions, the protection of human rights, and the overall stability of the nation.

“The rule of law is the highest intangible and most valuable asset of any society. And we must work tirelessly to protect and preserve it. We must prioritize the pursuit of justice above all else,” Obi stated. 

He highlighted the urgent need to revitalize Nigeria’s judiciary by safeguarding its independence and promoting values such as character, competence, capability, compassion, and integrity among jurists and political leaders alike.

In a candid reflection on the current state of Nigeria, Obi lamented that the lack of effective judicial oversight has led to a society where “anything goes.” He noted, “Nigeria has become a country where anything goes. 

There is no rule of law and almost no judiciary. Everybody could be pushed down because there is no rule of law.”

Obi’s critique extended to the commercialisation of the judiciary, where justice is often determined by financial power rather than fairness. 

“Because the judiciary has become commercialised and depends on how much one pays, it has become difficult to get true justice in the judiciary. 

At any point in time where the judiciary is not working, the society suffers,” he said.

Obi called for a comprehensive reform of the judicial system, underscoring that all other institutions rely on a robust judiciary to thrive.

 He urged for a collective effort to restore the integrity of the judiciary, ensuring that justice and fairness prevail as Nigeria strives to build a better future for all its citizens.


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