Chairman of the Bi-Courtney Group of Companies, Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN), has called for a critical and urgent review of the nation’s judiciary.
“Where we are now is a melancholic decadence of a great institution,” Babalakin noted on Thursday while speaking at the ongoing 2016 Law Week of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos Branch, with the theme ‘Judicial Independence and the Democratic Process.”
The senior lawyer, who spoke on ‘Judiciary in an Emerging Economy, Challenges and Prospect’, recalled that the Chief Justice of the old Western Region earned more than the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the 60s, said that the judiciary he grew up knowing is totally different from what exists now.
He lamented the lost values and the lack of innovative ways of tackling issues prevalent within the judiciary, disclosing that the issues he identified about Nigeria’s judiciary in his 1986 doctoral thesis submitted to the Cambridge University are yet to be resolved.
“There have been no improvements; we still have unthinking responses to severe problems. Have you related the solution to the problem,” he wondered.
On complaints about the appointment of judges, Babalakin held that Nigeria’s judiciary will remain the same until efforts are made to attract the best individuals to the bench.
“Our court system will work better when judges have superior intellect than even the best lawyers” he said, adding that a new method has to be found for the composition of the National Judicial Council.