The Convener, Campaign Against Crime Initiative, CACI, Timothy Nwachukwu, has raised the alarm over the perversion of the justice system in Nigeria.
Nwachukwu, who also is the Founder, Youth Advocate for Peace Justice and Empowerment Network (YAPJEN), a CLO, good governance and advocacy group, warned such perversion portended danger to the development of Nigeria and a threat to its democracy, a statement made available to The Neighbourhood, signed by the Convener, said.
Amb. Nwachukwu, who gave the warning while reacting to the report of the survey released by the anti graft agency, Independent and Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, where it revealed that practitioners in the temple of Nigeria justice system gave a whopping nine billion naira bribe to Nigerian judges, noted that its consequences on Nigeria’s development would be huge in the future.
He noted that the total amount of money reported by the Justice sector respondents as corruptly demanded, offered and paid between 2018 and 2020 was N9,457, 650,000.00 (N9.457 billion). The anti-corruption activist further noted that the survey revealed that about 78 of the 901 justice sector respondents reported experiencing offers or payment of bribes to influence judicial processes.
“Of that number, 63 respondents were lawyers surveyed to have paid or offered N5.77 billion as a bribe for a favourable judgement (and) of the 63 lawyers’ respondents, female lawyers paid or offered N918 million as bribes, while their male counterparts paid or offered N4.815 billion as a bribe to influence a judgement.
“These amounts made up 9.71 per cent and 50.92 per cent respectively of the total amount reported by justice sector respondents. Lawyers reported 60.63 per cent of the bribes offered and paid by justice sector respondents,” he recalled the ICPC report to have said.
He continued, “Eleven out of the 123 judges surveyed, reported experiencing offers or payment of N3.307 billion and N392.3 million as a bribe.”
Nwachukwu described as “disgusting, discouraging and delusional that the justice sector which is commonly referred to as the last hope of the common man has allowed the endemic nature of corruption which is prevalent in the nation’s polity to permeate the once sacred sector.”
He warned that with the recent revelation by the anti-graft agency, the hope of the common and voiceless Nigeria will dwindle as justice is now sold and obtained by the highest bidders.
He, therefore, warned that if the Nigerian justice system failed to purge itself of the rot, Nigerians might result to the despicable act of jungle justice which is avarice to the rule of law.