During the ongoing sessions of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, Umar Dahiru, a former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal matters, expressed the disillusionment of Nigerians with the nation’s judicial system.
Dahiru made these remarks on Thursday at a book launch in Abuja, where the book titled ‘When Justice Sleeps: Burning Issues and Crises in the Administration of Justice in Nigeria’ was presented.
The former legislator highlighted corruption, ethnicity, religion, and other factors as significant hurdles to Nigeria’s fair dispensation of justice.
He emphasized that the timing of the book’s release is apt, as Nigerians are seeking justice regarding electoral matters arising from the February and March elections.
Dahiru lamented the symbolic state of justice being “asleep” in Nigeria, symbolizing the loss of confidence by Nigerians in the country’s judicial system.
“This book could not have come at a more appropriate time than now as the entire apparatus of the Nigerian justice system seems to have ‘slept’ indeed. Let us look around.
“Most Nigerians have lost confidence in our judicial system to deliver justice. Cases linger in court for years endlessly, making real the popular cliché: justice delayed is justice denied.
“Recently the words ‘Go to Court’ in the context it has been used in recent times appears to have become a tool of oppression as those issuing the advice are impliedly admitting and acknowledging the blatant ignominious lack of justice in Nigeria’s judicial system: when justice sleeps,” he said.
In addition, Matthew Okeke, the author of the book, expressed deep concern over the nation’s deteriorating condition of the judicial system.
He remarked, “The functioning of the system is unsatisfactory. It fails to address the demands and requirements of the people, which has resulted in significant dissatisfaction among the population.”
“This statement is not meant to indict anybody or the institution but rather for us to reflect on the system we are operating and see how we’ll improve on it so that it responds to the needs of the citizens.
“From what we hear and see on a daily basis, all of us should not feel at home or be happy about it. Justice can still be resurrected.
“All it takes to start working well, serving our needs is for us to adjust by attitudes and also by-laws. Some of our laws need to be amended.
“In fact, I must say generally I must say that the attention we give to issues of justice is not adequate.”
Furthermore, Matthew Okeke, the author of the book, voiced his lamentations regarding the deteriorating state of Nigeria’s judicial system.
He expressed that the system is not functioning effectively and fails to adequately address the needs and concerns of the citizens, leading to widespread discontent among the populace.