The Nigerian Bar Association has demanded accountability from the judiciary as the Senate wades into the Supreme Court crisis bordering on poor welfare and working conditions.
NBA President, Olumide Akpata, stated that there is an urgent need for fundamental reforms of the administration and governance of the judiciary.
Akpata, in a statement issued on Wednesday, reacted to a memo written by 14 Justices of the Supreme Court to the Chief Justice of the Federation, Tanko Muhammad, wherein they alleged various improprieties and administrative inefficiencies.
The NBA lamented that the situation has not only affected the judicial responsibilities of the Justices but also impacted the justice administration process.
The statement partly read, “The judiciary must entrench the principles of accountability and probity in the manner in which it expends allocated resources. While the fight for increased budgetary allocations for the Judiciary continues, it is important that the available resources be used for the welfare and wellbeing of our judicial officers, as well as for the improvement of the infrastructure and facilities required by our judges and justices to effectively discharge their duties.”
Meanwhile, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, at the plenary on Wednesday, mandated the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to, as a matter of urgency, wade into the crisis.
Lawan gave the directive moments before the Senate adjourned plenary, saying, “We may recall that there were some issues coming out of the judiciary.
“We must have interest in what is happening in that arm of government. I believe that we owe it to Nigerians, to look into what is happening in that arm of government, with a view to bringing solutions to the problem that our judiciary in Nigeria faces.”
He added, “So, I will urge our Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to get involved with the CJN and judiciary generally – at this level with the Supreme Court – to find out what the real issues are and how the National Assembly can help.”