The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, SAN has been urged to immediately commence the prosecution of the retired judge of Niger State High Court, Justice Idris Evuti for false age declaration.
The embattled Justice of the Supreme Court Justice Sylvester Ngwuta is also facing similar charges.
A legal practitioner Babatunde Oshilaja who said both judicial officials were his colleagues at the University of Ife and Law school said failure to prosecute Justice Evuti will amount to double standard.
He disclosed this during an interview with selected media including CASEFILE.
According to him, it is not the judiciary that is on trial but few individuals with tainted characters.
He disagreed that the raid on the judicial officials’ houses was an invasion, saying security operatives can arrest anybody on suspicion of crimes at any time and period of the day.
He disagreed with the belief that serving judicial officers are immune from arrest and prosecution saying Section 308 of the Nigerian Constitution only covers the President, Vice President, governors and their deputies.
Mr. Oshilaja said the National Judicial Council, NJC, is not a prosecuting agency but an arm of the executive.
He said the NJC has at various times failed in its responsibilities by merely recommending erring judicial officers for retirement thereby protecting them from prosecution.
On the current fight against corruption, Mr. Oshilaja commended President Muhammadu Buhari saying under him, “stealing is now corruption” and that there is no sacred cows as far as any constitutional infraction is involved.
About divergent views on the arrest of judges and justices, he has this to say, “We cannot all sleep and lay our heads in the same direction, sympathy and interest is beclouding our comments, we no longer comment honestly about issues.”
On the senior lawyers facing corruption and gratification trial, Mr. Oshilaja said whoever soiled his hands must have a day in court.
“Those people are not in court because they are lawyers but because of defect in their characters that has come to the surface, he added.
He however praised the judiciary for living up to its name as the last hope of the common man, says its doors are always open for everyone irrespective of his or her status, tribes or religion.
Finally, he added that the flaws in the military imposed constitution are responsible for the challenges affecting smooth governance and adequate dispensation of justice.
Watch out for the detailed interview on www.casefileng.com