Former Cross River State governor, Mr. Donald Duke, has revealed that some judges who delivered a judgment that made “a candidate who came fourth the winner of an election” in Nigeria have been denied visas by the US Embassy.
Duke disclosed this today at the launch of a book, titled, ‘A Stranger In Their Midst’, at The Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos, with the theme, Judicial Jeopardy In The Past Decade.
According to Duke, all the aides, who applied alongside their principals, were granted visas, while only the judges’ applications were refused.
In his own contribution, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Olisa Agbakoba, pointed out the fact that the National Judicial Council is controlled by the Chief Justice of Nigeria who appoints 50 of its 60 members.
“The conditions of service of the judiciary are terrible. It means they can be controlled. Those who don’t want to just take it easy and keep their heads down are strangers in their midst.
“We should not put our judges in a position where they can be tempted,” he further stated.
On his own part, a former member of the House of Representatives, Abdul Oroh, shared his experience when he served on the House Judiciary Committee.
According to him, the top echelon of the Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) is responsible for corrupting judges.
‘A Stranger in Their Midst’ is a 228-page autobiography focusing on the judicial career of Mr. Justice Charles Archibong at the Federal High Court in several locations across the country.
Justice Archibong served on the bench of the Federal High Court from 2002 to 2013.
The book details matters that came before Justice Archibong during his time as a Federal Judge. His characteristic approach to adjudication was a decided bent toward the speedy conclusion of proceedings before him.
The cases ranged from the abduction of a sitting state governor, the recall of the Deputy Senate President, a trial of activists of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, to pushing through trial a claim against federal authorities over the publication of an air accident report, oil magnates and communications czars tangling with their creditors.
Things reach a climax when Justice Archibong collides with senior lawyers engaged on behalf of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to conduct a major criminal trial and about the same time the Judge gets caught in the crossfire of feuding political bigwigs fighting for the control of party-political structures. These conflicts will lead to the premature termination of his judicial career.