The Delay in Judicial and Corruption Cases in Nigeria: Matters Arising! -Ishola Adebayo

November 30, 2017

Delays in judicial process are endemic in most court systems throughout the world and affect negatively a number of development objectives. In some cases, delays are so extreme that they effectively deny justice, particularly to disadvantaged groups who may not be able to "grease the wheels" of the justice system.

Delays of cases in the judiciary have been an historical event which needs the serious attention of not only the judicial officers but the government in general.

The delay tactics adopted by lawyers and judicial officers to stall progress in the dispensation of justice, especially in the ongoing fight against trials of corruption suspects in Nigeria is not just worrisome but for calls for urgent attention of all and sundry.

The backlog of corruption cases in Courts of Nigeria is on the increase despite the various measures the government has taken so far to reduce it. Several reports show that corruption has been the major obstacle for this war. Despite the attempts, corruption still remains the most serious problem in courts of law; its trend has increase more with every successive government in 2011 and 2015 respectively.

With this menace of case delay and corrupt practices people lose confidence with the Judiciary; this has prompted President Buhari to caution that judicial officers ought to observe their code of conduct.

In Nigeria, we arrest before we investigate whereas investigation ought to have been done before you make an arrest. The moment you arrest a suspect, you should confront him with charges. When you have enough evidence, a suspect would either beg for leniency or plea bargain. This is a fundamental problem. Arresting before investigating someone promotes injustice.

The eradication of corruption is a joint task involving not only judges and members of the legal profession, but literally all stakeholders, including all branches of government, the media and the civil society; we cannot expect to make any gains in the war against corruption in our society when the judiciary is seen as being distant from the crusade.

In justice, integrity is a necessity, hence judicial officers and all other members of this arm of gevernment must always demonstrate manifest integrity.