A professor of International LAw and Jurisprudence Akin Oyebode, has reacted to the judgement of the court of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, which ordered the Federal Government to release and pay compensation to former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
Oyebode gave his view while commenting on the image the arrest of some judges would give Nigeria.
Noting that there were many highly responsible judges in the country, he said there will always be few bad eggs.
“You remember the judgement of (Justice) Awokulehin in the James Ibori’s case. He gave Ibori a clean bill of health, only for Ibori to be tried and convicted in an English court,” Oyebode stated.
“That is an indictment on the sense of justice in some of our courts. Some of our judges have not been upright, but as I said, you won’t hang Nigeria by the malfeasance of a few of its judicial officers.
“Some of our judges are as best as you can get anywhere, they are well educated and really, we should be a little bit temperate in talking about our judges. Internationally, Nigerian judges are still respected at commonwealth law conferences and world judicial conferences. We are highly regarded.
“The only thing that you might find a little bit uncomfortable is the decisions of the ECOWAS Court, which are now tending to be an indictment on the Nigerian state, not the judiciary.
“You grant bail to an accused person, but the state does not implement that bail and you don’t have competent lawyers that ought to have gone to argue the case on the basis of exhaustion of local remedies.
“An international tribunal does not have the power to adjudicate on a matter that has been truncated, except there is no remedy to exhaust. The accused didn’t go to the Supreme Court, which is the highest court in Nigeria, they just flew from the High Court to ECOWAS.
“The lawyer for the country ought to have argued the doctrine of exhaustion of local remedies, but maybe because they never studied International Law at undergraduate level. So, they don’t even know. Ignorance could be very expensive.”
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