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Politicians won’t go to court if judiciary is upright – Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has underscored the need for judicial integrity, saying that politicians will stop approaching courts as soon as they realise that judges…

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has underscored the need for judicial integrity, saying that politicians will stop approaching courts as soon as they realise that judges will not declare losers as winners after elections.

He spoke Tuesday at the inauguration of Delta State’s new high court complex in Asaba and the flag-off of the presentation of 20 Toyota Prado Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) to judges in the state.

Jonathan, who stressed that fair elections would significantly decrease the number of court cases, said a substantial portion of politicians resorted to litigation due to perceived electoral injustices, estimating that about 50 percent of court cases stem from feelings of being cheated by the electoral system.

He said, “My thinking is that 50 percent of those who go to court go to court because they felt they were cheated by the electoral management system; they were rigged out.

“When you feel naturally aggrieved, you have to go to court. So, assuming the elections are properly conducted, they know they failed the election, but they feel they can use the judiciary to declare them winners.

“If the judiciary doesn’t declare who doesn’t win the election that they are winners, that many 50 percent will not go to court.

“In South Africa, the electoral management body will never compromise, they all know. If you lose the election, you just wait for the next election. You don’t need to go to court.

“Because if you go to court, the judiciary too will not compromise. So, you will not get anything.”

Meanwhile, he also commended the Delta government for its efforts in improving the working environment of judicial officers.

He also lauded Sheriff Oborevwori, Governor of Delta State, for the focus of his administration on infrastructural development and his commitment to completing projects initiated by previous governments.

Jonathan said the project, which was started in 1991, was proof of the government’s dedication to continuity and development.

“There are some projects that are very fundamental to the growth and development of the state. We expect anybody who takes over the government to continue them, and you are doing exactly that,” Jonathan said.

“From the history of the project given by the chief judge of the state and you, this project started in 1991, and you are the one who has crowned it.

“The master of ceremony did mention that when you were the speaker, you returned N500 million unspent money, and I tell you that this certificate you have gotten is more than a PhD certificate.

“It is not easy for a public officer or even a civil servant to refund money to the government. In most cases, it is extremely difficult, but as a speaker, you were able to do that. That shows that you are somebody with a high level of integrity, and you can be trusted.

“Continue to manage the resources of the state in that manner and use the money in a way that will affect the people.”

Earlier, Governor Oborevwori said the completion of the High Court building was in line with his commitment to the completion of projects inherited from previous administrations.

He said the presentation of 20 Toyota Prado SUVs to judges in the state was a fulfillment of “a promise made and a promise kept”.

While thanking the former president for coming to inaugurate the project, he said the erstwhile president remained a great Nigerian patriot, statesman and unique leader, in and out of office.

 

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