Corrupt Judiciary Encourages Politicians To Run To Court

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has highlighted the role of judicial corruption in encouraging Nigerian politicians to pursue court cases following elections. Speaking at the inauguration of the Delta State High Court complex, completed and commissioned by Governor Sheriff Oborevwori, Jonathan emphasized that an upright judiciary would deter politicians from incessantly challenging election results in court.

Jonathan also urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Nigerian judiciary to work towards reducing the high volume of post-election litigations. He commended Governor Oborevwori for his commitment to completing projects initiated by his predecessors, including the inauguration of 20 Toyota Prado SUVs for state judges.

Jonathan also stressed the importance of a trustworthy judicial system in strengthening Nigeria’s democratic processes.

“I am glad to join the governor to commission this major project; this is the third project I have commissioned in Delta,” the former President said.

“I commissioned the State Government House when I was in office and the Federal High Court Complex, so governor, thank you for inviting me to be part of this unique ceremony.”

“We expect anybody who takes over to continue with the development pace and you are doing that,” Jonathan said.

While dwelling on corruption in the judiciary, Jonathan said:

“I just returned from South Africa on Monday, June 2, because I was there to observe their election that held on Wednesday, May 29.”

“One Nigeria journalists interviewed me and asked, ‘what are the South Africans doing regarding their elections that we Nigerians can emulate or what Nigerians are doing that they can emulate?’

“I told him that one key difference between South African and Nigeria is that if a South African loses an election, and he goes to court, it is very strange.”

“But if a Nigerian loses election and does not go to court. It is very strange.”

“In Nigeria, my thinking is that 50 per cent of those who go to court, do so because they felt they where cheated by the electoral management system and were rigged out.”

“So, assuming the elections are properly conducted, that set of people will not go to court. The next 50 per cent that go to court are those who know they failed election but they feel they can use the judiciary to declare them winners.”

“So, if the judiciary do not declare those who did not win elections winners, that remaining 50 per cent will also not go to court.”

“In South Africa, if you lose election, you just have to wait for the next election. You don’t need to go to court.”

“And if you go to court in South Africa, the judiciary will not compromise. So nobody goes to court but I believe we will get there one day in Nigeria”

“So, the judiciary in Nigeria should be very strong and do the right thing so that this avalanche of litigation after elections will stop in this country,” Jonathan said.

Jonathan, however, added that it was good to give and equip the judiciary with the best edifice and to give them the needed comfort because Nigerians also expected the best from them.