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The Nigerian Judiciary Is The Weakest Link In Our Democracy

It took 12 years of trial to sentence Chief Orji Uzor Kalu to 12 year in jail.


Five months after, the Apex Court of the land, the Supreme Court nullifies Orji Uzor Kalu's imprisonment. 

The reason being that the trial High Court Judge had been promoted to the Court of Appeal before he gave judgement.


The Supreme Court Justices held that a Justice of the Court of Appeal cannot operate as a judge of the Federal High Court and therefore ordered for a retrial. 

Recall, Orji Kalu had before his conviction, taken his application of a no case submission up to the same Supreme Court, which ruled that he had a case to answer and should therefore face trial.

The Supreme Court did not nullify Orji Kalu's imprisonment on the ground that Chief Kalu was not guilty as charged but on the technicality that the trial judge had been promoted to the Court of Appeal.

In Ghana, when a High Court Judge gets promoted to the Court of Appeal, he concludes cases that are almost finished, sitting simultaneously as a judge of the Appeal Court and the High Court. It saves time, it saves tax payer's money and dispenses speedy judgement. But not so in our country, Nigeria.


Orji Uzor Kalu has been set free and released from prison and he is on another long walk to justice. But this is not about Chief Orji Uzor Kalu but about the Nigerian justice system which is the weakest link in our democracy. Some say that it is the most corrupt arm of government.


Is there any surprise that in a country described as "fantastically corrupt" with about 200 million people, less than 80,000 people are in jail and 60% of that number are awaiting trial?


©SID


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