Atiku Abubakar Expresses Concerns About Nigeria’s Supreme Court
An Alarming Observation
Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar, who ran for the 2023 election under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has voiced his apprehension regarding the state of Nigeria’s highest court.
Addressing a World Press Conference in Abuja, Atiku remarked that recent comments made by retired Justice Musa Dattijo Muhammad, who served on the Supreme Court, strongly suggest that there are underlying issues with the apex court.
Politicization of Institutions
Atiku emphasized the importance of preventing politicization within the judiciary, asserting that this issue has become commonplace across various institutions in Nigeria.
He cited the allegations made by retired Justice Muhammad, who served diligently for over four decades, and stressed that these concerns should not be dismissed lightly.
Justice Muhammad’s Rebuke
Atiku pointed out that Justice Dattijo Muhammad’s candid rebuke of the Supreme Court is a significant indication of the challenges facing the court.
He highlighted the need for these concerns to be addressed, as they offer insight into why the electoral and judicial systems have eroded the confidence of ordinary citizens.
Justice Dattijo’s Concerns and Proposed Reforms
Justice Dattijo, speaking at a valedictory session in his honor, expressed his reservations about the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) wielding excessive power, which could potentially undermine the administration of justice.
He highlighted that the CJN chairs multiple vital institutions, including the National Judicial Commission (NJC), the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC), the National Judicial Institute (NJI), and the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC).
The CJN is responsible for appointing and disciplining judges and appointing Senior Advocates of Nigeria.
Dattijo emphasized the need to reevaluate and reduce the CJN’s extensive powers, given the significant oversight role they play across various legal institutions in the country.
He suggested that such extensive powers are susceptible to abuse and called for a fundamental shift in addressing this issue.
Atiku Abubakar’s concerns, echoed by retired Justice Dattijo, shine a spotlight on the challenges within Nigeria’s judicial system, particularly at the highest level.
Their call for a reevaluation of the powers held by the Chief Justice of Nigeria reflects the broader concerns about the impartiality and effectiveness of the country’s judiciary.
These statements reinforce the need for reform and transparency to restore confidence in the Nigerian legal system, a task that is of critical importance for the nation’s democracy.