- Orji Kalu states that the nation’s judiciary is not as bad as it is made out to be
- He lauds the judiciary for its verdict in a case concerning Abia state against former president Obasanjo
- The former governor urges the judiciary to take steps to ensure it is not seen as being partisan
Nigeria’s judiciary has been rated as the best in Africa by a former governor of Abia state, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, who is standing trial for alleged money laundering.
According to reports, the former governor stated this while delivering a lecture titled “Role of Bar and Bench in fight against corruption” at the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Aba branch, Abia state, annual week 2017, on Tuesday June 27.
Kalu claimed that the Nigerian judiciary had performed wonderfully well, despite harsh conditions, by not only helping to sustain the nation’s democracy, but by saving democracy at many critical times.
He stated: “While I do not deny the fact of corruption in the judiciary, I also affirm that our judiciary is one of the best on the continent.
“I want to state that Nigerian judiciary is not as bad as being portrayed sometimes.
“Considering the conditions of their operations, they have been performing wonderfully well.
“The judiciary has not only helped to sustain our democracy, but has saved democracy at many critical times.
“Our judiciary is trying very well, and I believe if it is allowed to operate with zero interference, that will be the beginning of the turnaround of our democratic process.
“As a governor, I came in contact with one hallmark of our judiciary – courage.
“I had squared up with former President (Olusegun) Obasanjo over what right should come to Abia State.
“We went to court and I had feared that the judges would fear federal might and sway justice. But, they stood their ground to uphold the law as it should be.”
Kalu quoted President Muhammadu Buhari as he urged the judiciary to exhibit a high sense of integrity and take steps to ensure it was not seen as being partisan.
He stated: “You may not be able to succeed in ridding the judiciary of influence and intimidation of strong political players like governors, but when the chief judge of a state sees his appointment and funding as favour from the governor, justice remains what the governor wants.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that former Abia state governor Orji Uzor Kalu suffered a setback as a federal court in Lagos made a vital ruling against him.
Onovai Oghenevoh, a prosecution witness in the corruption trial will be allowed to give evidence against him.
Uzor Kalu's defence counsel had objected to his evidence because his statement was not front-loaded in the proof of evidence.
Watch this NAIJ.com TV video of EFCC officials staging walk against corruption