The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has expressed concerns over the current state of the judiciary in Nigeria, especially as it concerns the political space.
In a statement released Friday by its convener, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, in Abuja, NEF highlighted the need for the judiciary to exercise caution in order to preserve its integrity, public trust and confidence.
The Forum called on all levels of the judiciary to uphold the highest ethical standards and impartiality in their decision-making processes. It emphasised the importance of judges exhibiting unwavering integrity and resilience, particularly when adjudicating cases related to elections.
“The judiciary serves as a crucial pillar in sustaining constitutional democracy by upholding the rule of law, protecting individual rights, and providing checks and balances on the other branches of government. However, any failure on the part of the judiciary to fulfill its responsibilities can have severe implications for the stability and functioning of a democratic society,” NEF said.
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NEF expressed concern that the current trend may encourage politicians to perceive politics as a “do-or-die affair.”
“A collapsing judiciary also jeopardises the safeguarding of constitutionalism, as it is the judiciary’s role to ensure that laws and policies conform to constitutional principles. Without a functioning judiciary, constitutional violations may go unchecked, resulting in a loss of public confidence in the democratic process and the erosion of citizens’ rights and freedoms,” the Forum added.