A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Robert Clarke, has expressed delight in the call by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Muhammed, to stop the Court of Appeal from giving conflicting judgements on cases.
Speaking on Sunrise Daily, Mr Clarke said that the CJN’s statement would enable lawyers, who have inhibitions about the system of judgement, to express their views.
He explained that the hierarchy of courts in Nigeria was part of the bedrock of the judicial system, saying “when the Supreme Court declares a position of law on a given issue, that position is sacrosanct”.
The Senior Advocate also criticised the decision of the Appellate Court on political cases, stating that most of the judgements were settled in other areas of law such as the criminal justices, maritime cases among others.
Mr Clarke believed that 80 per cent of top legal practitioners in Nigeria were aware of the challenges facing the judiciary but would not want to say anything about it.
“I can assure you that 80 per cent of top lawyers know that the judiciary today is not what we met and if nothing is done to it, it will collapse on our head,” he said.
The Senior Advocate also criticised the way judges were being appointed, saying they were appointed by politicians on recommendation.
He also pointed out that the calibre of judges appointed were part of the causes of the problems of the judicial system in Nigeria.
“I am very sorry to say, except for one, two or three in the Supreme Court today, there is no judgement you can now take and feel.. oh, this is a fantastic judgement,” he said.