Former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal and Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello have appealed to the government at all levels to give the Judiciary full autonomy to enable it carry out its duties on unbiased and independent grounds.
The trio spoke in Minna, the Niger State capital, at the opening ceremony of a training of magistrates and District Court judges of the state.
Tambuwal said granting full autonomy to the Judiciary would curb corruption in the system.
The governor stressed that the independence of the Judiciary is paramount to the administration of justice and development in Nigeria.
“I want to appeal to my colleagues in all states to grant full autonomy to the Judiciary. If we do not do that, we cannot get an independent and impartial Judiciary. For Nigeria to grow, we need to have an independent and corrupt-free Judiciary.
“We should not expect our magistrates moving around and looking for help from wherever and expect them to administer justice without some kind of bias. For us to ensure that we have a corrupt-free Judiciary, there is need for us to do the needful.
“The Judiciary is the last hope of the common man and we just have to do everything humanly possible, as leaders, to ensure that the Judiciary is fairly treated. If we do not give them training and funding, we should not expect them to perform magic because they are not magicians,” he said.
Abubakar said the Judiciary needs to be encouraged through effective welfare.
He said: “People need to be well trained to dispense justice because without justice, there will be no peace and what we need is peace in this country.
“I add my voice to that of Sokoto State governor that the judicial workforce needs to be encouraged in terms of welfare and uplifting working conditions,” he said.
Governor Bello said he granted the state Judiciary financial autonomy to make it independent in the dispensation of justice.
The governor said the financial autonomy had enhanced the rehabilitation of some magistrates’ and Sharia courts across the state.
He added that allowances were being given to the judges to enable them perform their duties optimally.
Niger State Chief Justice (CJ) Aliyu Mayaki said the tier-four courts in the judicial system are closer to the people and are more accessible.
He added that their decisions are felt more by the people.
“These courts, being courts of summary jurisdictions, handle larger percentage of criminal cases in our state. Decisions emanating from these courts affect the security, peace, harmony and stability of the community they operate in.”