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Fagbemi to politicians: Refrain from making unfounded claims against judges

Fagbemi to politicians: Refrain from making unfounded claims against judges
November 26
12:17 2023

Lateef Fagbemi, attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice, has cautioned politicians against criticising the judiciary when they lose cases in court. 

Judges have come under fire from politicians and their followers on social media following the outcome of election petitions.

In October, Inyang Okoro, a justice of the supreme court, warned Nigerians and lawyers against casting aspersions on judges and engaging in media trials on cases before the courts.

Speaking on Friday in Kwara, the minister said “common sense” demands that a politician accepts a judgment after losing out at the trial and supreme courts.

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“You lost at the tribunal; you lost at the appeal court and the supreme court, yet you are insinuating foul play,” he said.

“I think even apart from law, morality also demands that you take the outcome as it is. I am not saying that judges cannot be wrong because they are human beings.

“Where anybody sees or feels that the course of justice has been perverted, the person should feel free to bring it forth rather than making unfounded insinuations.”

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The attorney-general advised anyone with substantial proof against a judge to confidently present such evidence.

“Unless you can bring forth concrete evidence, I will not succumb to blackmail. Nobody will shield an erring judge,” he said.

“One thing about justice is that the man who wins will praise the judgment. The person who loses will never agree that he has lost fairly unless you give him the judgment.

“Don’t forget, when you make unfounded insinuations, you are dragging the name of the nation in the mud.”

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Speaking on judicial reforms, Fagbemi said he is working with the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) and that judges at all levels will also be engaged.

“What I have done is to seek the platform of NGF to address all the governors in Nigeria as to what they are required to do if anything is being done at the level of the federal government,” he said.

“We expect that the state within their limited resources will be let into it.

“Another thing is that we need to engage the judges because it is one thing to make laws, it is another thing to administer them.

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“We also need to engage the chief judges, especially at the state level. We need to embark on uniformity without necessarily turning the country into a unitary system.”

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