The current intertwining of the judiciary with political considerations is disheartening, according to Kukah. The seasoned commentator expresses a sense of melancholy over the entanglement of the judicial system in the realm of politics. Kukah, known for his insightful perspectives on societal issues, laments the erosion of the judiciary’s independence and its susceptibility to political influence.
In this somber reflection, Kukah highlights the concern that the judiciary, which is meant to be a pillar of justice and impartiality, is increasingly becoming enmeshed in the complex web of political maneuvering. The implications of this entanglement are far-reaching, potentially compromising the very essence of a fair and unbiased legal system.
Kukah’s observation underscores the significance of maintaining a separation between the judiciary and political interests to ensure the integrity of the legal process. He emphasizes the need for a judiciary that remains steadfast in its commitment to upholding justice without succumbing to external pressures.
This commentary serves as a poignant reminder of the challenges faced by institutions tasked with upholding the rule of law, urging society to reflect on the potential consequences of a judiciary swayed by political considerations. It prompts a critical examination of the current state of affairs and a collective call to safeguard the autonomy of the judiciary for the sake of a just and equitable society
Bishop Matthew Kukah, the Archbishop of Sokoto Catholic Diocese, expressed deep concern and disapproval regarding the increasing entanglement of the judiciary in political matters. His remarks were delivered during the 8th House of Justice Summit held in Kaduna, where he served as the keynote speaker over the weekend.
The summit, which focused on the theme of ‘Electoral Accountability and Democratic Stability,’ provided an opportune platform for Bishop Kukah to address the alarming integration of the Nigerian judiciary into the political arena. In his poignant statements, Kukah lamented the unfortunate reality that the judiciary, once revered for its impartiality and commitment to justice, has now found itself enmeshed in the complexities of partisan politics.
The Bishop’s sentiments reflected a sense of sadness and disappointment at witnessing the erosion of the judiciary’s independence and its transformation into a tool manipulated by political forces. This observation raised critical questions about the potential consequences for the democratic process and the overall stability of the nation.
As the keynote speaker, Bishop Kukah seized the opportunity to underscore the importance of maintaining electoral accountability as a cornerstone of democratic stability. He emphasized the need for a judiciary that remains above the fray, ensuring its role as a guardian of justice and fairness in the electoral process.
In conclusion, Bishop Matthew Kukah’s address at the House of Justice Summit shed light on the concerning intertwining of the judiciary and politics in Nigeria. His call for a reevaluation of the judiciary’s role and the preservation of its independence resonated as a crucial plea for safeguarding the integrity of the democratic system in the country.
“Elections, by their very nature, tend to yield unforeseen outcomes, what one might term as unintended consequences. Nevertheless, it is crucial to recognize that an election is essentially a competition, and the experiences gained from one electoral contest should serve as valuable lessons to better prepare for subsequent contests,” he remarked.
Senator Shehu Sani, who previously represented the Kaduna Central Senatorial District in the 8th National Assembly, also addressed the gathering. He advocated for a comprehensive judicial reform to safeguard the impartiality of those presiding over electoral cases, ensuring they remain immune to compromise.
Furthermore, Senator Sani emphasized the need for President Bola Tinubu to spearhead electoral reforms in anticipation of the forthcoming general elections. In his view, such reforms are imperative to enhance the integrity and fairness of the electoral process, reinforcing the democratic foundations of the nation.
Sani expressed concern about the diminishing hope among the populace, emphasizing the urgency for the Federal Government, under the leadership of President Ahmed Bola Tinubu, to initiate an electoral reform program. He stressed the importance of rectifying the mistakes made during recent elections and paving the way for a better future for the country.
Highlighting Tinubu’s historical role in the democracy struggle, including his exile during that period, Sani asserted that despite the challenges and flaws in the election that brought Tinubu to power, it is the responsibility of the President to institute necessary electoral reforms. The goal is to ensure that the 2027 elections are conducted with greater integrity and credibility than their predecessors.
Sani also underscored the need for judicial reform to safeguard the impartiality of those adjudicating electoral cases. He expressed concern that the loss of faith in the executive and legislative branches of government is extending to the judiciary, citing serious incidents in Plateau and Kano states that cast doubt on the honor and integrity of the judicial system. Sani emphasized the broader implications of such issues on the nation’s stability, stating that without electoral accountability, achieving national stability would be a formidable challenge.
Gen. Zamani Lekwot (retd.), a former military governor of Rivers State, contributed to the discussion by asserting that democratic stability hinges on equity, justice, and respect for the people’s votes. He likened politics to a game governed by rules and attributed democratic instability to the blatant abuse of these rules by key actors, especially the elites.
Gloria Ballason, the Chief Executive Officer of the House of Justice, pledged the organization’s commitment to addressing and offering solutions to contemporary issues in Nigeria and across the African continent. Her statement reflected the organization’s dedication to engaging with pressing matters and contributing to the ongoing discourse on improving the democratic processes and institutions in the region.