Judiciary fares better under military rule – Ex-Adamawa CJ
Former Chief Judge of Adamawa State, justice Bemare Bansi has decried the neglect of the judicial arm of government under democracy noting that the arm of government fared better under the military junta than during full blown democracy.
Bansi who made the remark during the opening ceremony of the 2023 law week and Hon. Justice Buba Ardo memorial lecture in Yola on Monday urged the bar and the bench to work together to rescue the embattled arm of government.
Reiterating the outcry, the septuagenarian noted that he is too old to be afraid of telling the truth, urging the democrats to instead of seeing him as an enemy for telling the blunt truth make amends and accord the important arm of government its deserved respect.
He noted that it took him 12 solid years after retirement to get his gratuity noting that he is yet to get furniture allowance despite the fact that the law stipulated that they are entitled to furniture allowance once every four years.
Bansi noted that such I’ll treatment was meted out to his successors and counterparts in other states noting that one of his colleagues in Jos died without collecting his retirement benefits adding that a number of retired judges have to endure life in misery after meritorious career and excellent service to the nation.
The former C.J who is a life bencher urged the politicians to be wary of their misguided belligerence against the judiciary noting that the judiciary is not an enemy of the executive or legislative arms of government adding that no democracy can thrive without the judicial arm of government.
“The executive and the legislative arms should know that democracy can only thrive in Nigeria if they stopped maltreating judicial officers serving or retired,” he said.
Bansi noted that in recent history, only the administration of governor Murtala Nyako gave the judiciary its deserved respect and recognition while other governments treat the arm of government with scorn.
He urged governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri to upgrade the condition of service of judicial officers similar to what obtains in other states like Kebbi and Sokoto as the judicial officers in Adamawa State are not inferior to those in those states.
The ex-CJ thanked governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri for paying his unpaid gratuity 12 years after retirement calling on him to pay more attention to the welfare of judicial officers in the state.
He called on the operators of the legal profession both the bar and the bench to imbibe the culture of respect for one another. He also called on them to be honest, maintain professionalism and work hard to justify the confidence reposed on them.
In her speech, the Chief Judge of Adamawa State, Justice Hapsat Abdurrahaman thanked the NBA for the unflinching support they have been extending to her since her assumption as Adamawa CJ.
She urged the bar and the bench to remain above board in the conduct of their duties noting that corruption and all forms of malpractices are sure drawbacks on the profession adding that the legal profession which has the remit to punish offenders as stipulated by the constitution should not be seen as the bastion of corruption and malfeasance.
Abdurrahaman noted that it was sad that NJC has to punish some judges over corruption and impropriety telling the operators of the temple of justice that for them to earn the respect and confidence of the populace, they should live above board.
Also in his speech, the chairman of Yola branch of NBA Hassan Maidawa said currently, the legal profession is on trail over accusations of impropriety even from within.
He noted that the theme of this year’s week “Building bridges, building nations: a joint commitment,” stems from the virulent criticism which the judiciary is subjected on election petitions cases.
Maidawa particularly expressed vituperation in the way and manner lawyers criticize court judgements without decorum adding that nobody is against criticism adding that such criticism must be made in formal and dignified manner.
He noted that most times, those criticising judgements are either mischievous or ignorant of how such judgements came about urging commentators to scrutinize judgements and get material facts before making their comments.
In his speech, governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri thanked the NBA for its doggedness towards the entrenchment of the rule of law.
Fintiri who was represented by Bello Hammandiram, a member of Adamawa State cabinet, thanked the NBA for promoting the course of justice through pro Bono services to indigent residents.
He thanked the NBA for professional handling of election petitions and assured them of his government support to ensure solid judicial reforms are emplaced in Adamawa State to ensure speedy administration of justice in the state.