Former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Kanu Agabi (SAN)
Former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Kanu Agabi (SAN)

Nigeria survival depends on Judicial officers’ transparency – BOSAN

A former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Kanu Agabi (SAN) said on Monday that Nigeria’s continued survival greatly depends on the transparency of judicial officers in the discharge of their judicial functions.

Agabi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria has therefore pleaded Judges and Justices not to loose confidence and principles in themselves no matter the challenges.

The former AGF, who spoke on behalf of the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN) on the occasion of the 2023/2024 legal year of the Court of Appeal noted with great concern the contributions of judicial officers in the past years which he said,have kept the country intact and from chaos and anarchy.

However,Agabi noted that, in spite of the contributions and sacrifices of judicial officers to the survival of the country, they are still been unwarranted attacked and criticised.

He warned that the country would be doomed unless the unjust attacks against judicial officers are stopped.

“It is only here that judicial officers work harder than slaves yet, they are not appreciated. But the consolation is that the Judges in Nigeria are match to the devil they are contending with.

“Whether we like it or not, we have to be proud of our Justices. They are brilliant and bold and some of them appointed as Justices in other countries.

“A mistake by one Justice should be not be generalised to warrant general condemnation from any quarter. They surpass Judges from other countries. They deserve commendation for resisting the evils.

“Majority of judicial officers are standing in the face of challenges and unless we are careful with the way we attack Judges, we will loose our minds and conscience”, he said.

He said, those who critisise judicial officers are at liberty to do so, but they have to cautious in the way they go about it adding that, while critisising the judiciary, they must not abuse it.

The former Minister of Justice spoke against granting of outlandish bail conditions to suspected criminals.

He noted that the law presumes them innocent until guilt is established adding that, granting of outlandish bail that will keep them in custody is unconstitutional

According to him, “We need not to slam bail conditions that are unattainable as the principles which govern bail conditions are the same as fine governed by the constitution”.

He challenged the current AGF to use his office to improve the welfare and work conditions of judicial officers.

In his speech, the AGF and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) said that President Bola Tinubu’s administration will address the issue of shortage of Justices at the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.