Nigerians celebrate corruption, says Obi
Former Anambra State Governor Peter Obi has said corruption thrives because Nigerians worship money.
The former governor noted that the nation was facing several challenges because of impunity.
He said: “The level of greed is unacceptable.”
Obi spoke yesterday on the topic: Nigeria: Any Hope for An Industrial Revolution? at the annual general conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
He said: “Corruption and greed kill entrepreneurship, hard work and professionalism.”
The former governor condemned greed among political office holders, who he said assume power with the aim of enriching themselves.
He said: “Someone is voted into office who had no house, no car, but in six months, the person has three cars, six houses and the person organises a thanksgiving. Even the bishop is praying for him to make more money.
“We have to start fighting those things that make industrial revolution impossible. We have to start by building a country where there is zero tolerance for greed and impunity.”
Also, NBA President Okey Wali (SAN) called for a reform in the appointment and elevation of judges and justices.
He said nothing in law stops a qualified lawyer from being appointed a Chief Judge, adding that a lawyer should also be able to go to the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court from the Bar without serving on the Bench first.
Wali also sought a review of the Constitution to divest governors of the power to appoint chief judges.
He said: “Why should another arm of government appoint the head of another arm? Does the Judiciary appoint the governor of a state? Do we appoint the Speaker of the House of Assembly? So, why should they appoint our head?”
A former NBA President Joseph Daudu (SAN) said the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) should not preside over the National Judicial Council (NJC), which has the responsibility of appointing and disciplining judges.
He said someone from the outside, either a retired justice or a senior lawyer, should be appointed to head the NJC.
According to him, a neutral head for the body would sanitise the system.
Daudu also criticised the practice in the NJC where lawyers, who are members, are barred from participating in disciplinary hearings on erring judges.
He said: “That dichotomy should be removed. If laymen can sit in discipline of judges, and if judicial officers sit in the disciplining of lawyers, then lawyers should participate in the disciplining of judges.”
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