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Current Supreme Court is Worst in 45 Years, NJC have Formed Mafia – Agbakoba

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A former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), has said that the current Supreme Court is the “worst” in his 45 years of legal practice.

Agbakoba spoke on Thursday in Abuja at a colloquium to mark the 61st birthday of Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio.

The colloquium was attended by President Bola Tinubu and many political stakeholders, including members of the National Assembly.

Speaking at the event, Agbakoba, according to TheCable, narrated how the “mafia” in the National Judicial Council (NJC) rejected his application to join the bench of the apex court.

“I was the first, accompanied by my brother, Wole Olanipekun, who applied because we thought we were qualified to sit at the Supreme Court. The mafia there threw us out,” he said.

The senior lawyer asked the National Assembly to make laws for the appointment of senior judges in the country.

Agbakoba said there is a difference between the administration of justice and judicial administration.

“We still mix the administration of justice, which the National Assembly cannot interfere with judicial administration, in which the National Assembly can make laws,” he said.

“There should be a law governing the appointment process of senior judges. We can’t leave it to the National Judicial Council. What the constitution says is that once you are 15 years old, you are qualified.

“But the National Judicial Council and Supreme Court judges have formed a mafia, and we don’t get there.

“With the greatest respect, this is the worst Supreme Court I have seen in my 45 years of practice.

“It has to change. A challenge for the National Assembly to enact a law that deals with judicial administration.

“I did not say administration of justice; you can’t go there because that is the internal workings of the judiciary but judicial administration, the National Assembly can make laws.

“You pass a law so that I don’t depend on the Chief Justice of Nigeria if I want to be a judge, the law will be passed stating the criteria to become a judge.”

Over the past few months, the judiciary, especially the supreme court, has come under criticism over election-related judgments.

In October, Musa Dattijo Muhammad, a retired Supreme Court justice, in his valedictory speech, faulted the composition of the panel that delivered judgment on the presidential election petitions.

Muhammed also condemned the non-representation of the north-central and South-east zones in the apex court.

The retired judge also complained that the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) had become too powerful.

Cable

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