AWKA – A legal practitioner in Awka, Mr Victor Osaka, said on Tuesady that a proactive judicial system was needed for a virile and reliable judiciary as enshrined in the constitution.
Osaka told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka that the current transformation of the judiciary was a step in the right direction as it had helped to entrench the rule of law and advanced the country’s democracy.
He said the liberal interpretation of the law and constitution, the independence of judiciary and checkmating of corrupt judges would help to strengthen the judiciary.
Osaka said the appointment of judges with integrity and comfortable working environment for them were also very important.
According to him, in Anambra State for instance, the salaries of customary court presidents and magistrates were structured after the civil service.
“For a judge to live above board, he must at least be seen as having been placed at the edge of the board in the first instance.
“That is to say that he must have been given attractive terms and conditions that ought to make him comfortable and non-restive,’’ Osaka said.
He urged the state government to improve on the present emoluments and allowances of the customary court presidents and magistrates to accord them the vicissitudes of office of a judge.
The lawyer said that the presidents of customary courts were yet to receive official vehicles to aid their job, especially those who sit in the hinterlands where no other form of courts exist.
He said that corrupt judges were constituting problems in the judiciary and must be checkmated and called for a check on the judges to rid the system of those with dubious character or propensity for corruption.
Osaka called for total independence of the judiciary to be in accord with the international best practices.
“Financial autonomy will not only give the judiciary the impetus and confidence but also the pedestal to check of the excesses of the executive,’’ he said. (NAN)