Judiciary is Overworked By Politicians – Buba

Retired Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Buba, has voiced his concerns regarding the undue burden placed on the judiciary by politicians in Nigeria to sustain democracy.

He disclosed that the judiciary often faces scrutiny and criticism, while politicians evade accountability for their actions.

According to him, “There’s an important need for politicians to adhere to the rules outlined in both their party constitutions and the national constitution to ensure societal progress, stressing that without adherence to these rules, society cannot advance effectively.

Speaking at a conference organized by the Tap Initiative with support from the Open Society Funds in Abuja, the retired Judge spoke on the challenges faced by the judiciary in upholding the rule of law amidst political pressures.
He further urged for greater recognition of the systemic issues within the political system that contribute to the strain on the judiciary.

Buba’s remarks underscore the importance of fostering accountability and adherence to legal frameworks within the political sphere to alleviate the burden placed on the judiciary and facilitate societal development.

He said, “The Nigerian judiciary, is undoubtedly being overworked by politicians to sustain democracy, it is very easy for an outsider not to see the ‘cow” on the head of the politician and political class, to quickly see the ‘lice’ on the head of the judiciary.”

“No amount of judicial activism by the judges can better society if the political class is not willing to play by the rules of the game, according to the constitution of their parties enacted by them and given to themselves, in line with the constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria. ”

Buba urged politicians to focus on politics of development and advancement to avoid wasting resources on inter-party fights, election petitions, and dragging the judiciary into a conflict of “do or die.

“If we play politics of development, politics of advancement we will not waste resources into an inter-party fight, election petitions and by extension, dragging the judiciary in the mud of the conflict of do or die.

“We will be better off. our experience has shown that there are no other areas of litigation that drag the judiciary into conflict and try to splash mud on the judiciary than the political cases,” he stated

The retired high court judge however lamented that politicians who are not qualified as judges attempt to influence the judiciary’s interpretation of the law.

According to him, “The judiciary needs to appoint individuals who can challenge the actions of the other arms of government on the bench.

“In the three arms of government, it is only the judiciary that has stringent conditions of qualification. Our judges must have a minimum of 10 years post-call to be appointed judges of a high court, while a school certificate whether pass or fail or its equivalent can attain offices in the other arms of government.

It is they who are in politics and try to dictate to the judiciary what the law is, and what should be done.

It is in this regard, the members of the bar must jealously guard and guide their profession and ensure that the judiciary gets the right people on the bench who can call off the bluff of the other arms of government in checks and balances” he said.

The Executive Director of Tap Initiative, Martins Obono, said the primary objective of the conference was to facilitate a more in-depth analysis of the issue of judicial accountability.

He added “The overarching goal was to explore strategies for enhancing public trust in the judiciary.