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Peter Obi accuses judges of giving favourable judgments to highest bidders, says they’re the problem of democracy in Nigeria



Labour Party presidential candidate in the 2023 election has accused Nigerian judges of giving favourable judgements to the highest bidders, saying they’re the problem of the country’s democracy.

Obi said this while delivering a keynote speech at the fifth memorial of late Justice Anthony Aniagolu at the Godfrey Okoye University in Enugu.

He said, “While the judiciary, today, still boasts of a few outstanding judges, there is an undeniable decline in our judicial system.

“This decline poses a significant threat to the future of Nigeria. Justice is increasingly commodified, and delivered in favour of the highest bidder.

“Whenever democracy is discussed, fingers point to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the problem. But INEC is not the problem, instead, the judiciary is. The judiciary is the biggest threat to Nigeria. If our judiciary is effective, our businesses will thrive.

“When the rule of law is compromised, the most vulnerable members of society are disproportionately affected, and the fabric of our society begins to fray. The integrity of our institutions, the protection of human rights, and the stability of our nation are all jeopardised.

“The rule of law is the highest intangible and most valuable asset of any society, and we must work tirelessly to protect and preserve it. We must prioritise the pursuit of justice above all else.

“I emphasised the urgent need to revitalise our judicial system by safeguarding its independence and promoting the values of character, competence, capability, compassion, and integrity among our jurists, as well as within our political leadership.

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“By doing so, we can ensure justice and fairness prevail as we endeavour to build a better Nigeria for all.

“Nigeria has become a country where anything goes. There is no rule of law, there is almost no judiciary. Everybody could be pushed down because there is no rule of law.

“Because the judiciary has become commercialised and depends on how much one pays, it has become difficult to get true justice in the judiciary. At any point in time where the judiciary is not working, the society suffers.”

Bola Tinubu of the All Progressive Congress (APC) won the 2023 presidential election with 8,794,726 votes; Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came second with 6,984,520 votes; while Obi polled third with 6,101,533 votes.

Obi and Abubakar challenged Tinubu’s election all the way to the supreme court.

On October 26, 2023, the apex court dismissed the appeals of Abubakar and Obi and affirmed Tinubu as president.

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