Trial of judges, lawyers will serve as deterrent – Rabana

Tunde Akanbi,Ilorin

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Rauf Lawal Rabana says the allegations of corruption leveled against some judicial officials will serve as a deterrent to others.

Rabana said this in Offa, Kwara state at a royal award ceremony in recognition of his achievements.
He added that the crisis in the judiciary had shown that the era of impunity by some judges and judicial workers was over.
Rabana, who was a former Secretary General of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA said that the situation in the judiciary was an unfortunate development, stressing that  judicial personnel were not immune to impunity but had to operate within the constitutional limits of  judicial powers and the code of ethics.

He said there was an element of cordiality between lawyers and judges but that there were attempts to compromise justice.

Answering another question, the legal practitioner called on the federal government to address the fundamentals that make corruption less attractive and not focus only on individuals.
He called for a mix of core professionals and articulate public servants in the appointment of ministers, and that in a situation where politicians were to occupy such positions ,they should be put in portfolios of their expertise.
Reforms

Chief Rabana said prisons could be decongested and that the judiciary should not impose unnecessary bail conditions on people.
“Government must build more spacious and modern prisons where people can learn various trades. A cell meant for two inmates now occupies about twenty and when they are discharged, they come out worse than when they were initially imprisoned,” he said.

According to him, the judiciary must have a liberal altitude towards granting bail and the police “should not arrest people and put them in cells when they are not yet ready to prosecute them.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria said that there was no arm of government that was independent of the other, explaining that “the executive is not independent because there are checks and  balances from the legislature , while the legislature also has the executive and the judiciary monitoring their activities, with the executive ,and the legislature also checking the judiciary.”

The lawyer, however, said what the judiciary needed was the freedom to discharge its duties without interference from any arm of government, especially with funding.

Rabana’s award ceremony was organised by the Offa monarch, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi.