President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, has pleaded with politicians to stop putting the judiciary under undue pressure while determining political matters.....CONTINUE READING
She made the appeal in her goodwill message at the fifth criminal law review conference, organised by the Rule of law Development Foundation (ROLDF), in Abuja, yesterday.
Dongban-Mensem, while rationalising relocation of highly sensitive political cases to Abuja, stated that the decision was to ensure a safe environment where justices could decide cases without fear or favour.
According to her, for entrenchment of the rule of law, it is expedient for justice to be delivered without interference, intimidation, manipulation or fear, stressing that the environment must be conducive for such to be achieved.
She said: “As President of the Court of Appeal, in an effort to secure us from harm and possible threats to the Rule of Law, the determination of sensitive political appeals is now concentrated in the Abuja and Lagos divisions of the court.
“The learned justices involved in such appeals are not notified of their case dockets until close to the hearing. This not only insulates their lordships from undue pressures, but also secures them from undue threats to their persons.
“Beyond this, it demonstrates my determination to see to it that justice is not only done, but seen to be done, without fear or favour, affection or ill will.”
Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagemi (SAN), in his remarks, attributed the dysfunctional justice system to lack of cooperation among stakeholders.
He said for the criminal justice system to work, all key players must streamline the process by dismantling bottlenecks to promote an effective, inclusive and flourishing sector.
On his part, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and coordinator/founder of ROLDF, Joseph Daudu, called for urgent review of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) laws, which he described as obsolete.