Acting President Yemi Osinbajo and the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Walter Onnoghen on Thursday have different stands on the presence of corruption in the judiciary.
While Osinbajo insisted that corruption was everywhere in the country including the judiciary, Onnoghen said that whether it existed it must be fought in consonance with due process and the rule of law.
He said that “every judicial officer is a gentleman”.
This was even as the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, Itse Sagay said that some agencies of the government was enmeshed in corruption.
The trio spoke at the opening ceremony of a two event tagged “National Dialogue in Corruption”, organized by PACAC in Abuja.
Osinbajo who gave a chronology of his experience while serving as Attorney-General in Lagos State attributed corruption in the judiciary with the ways Judges are appointed.
“No proper system,” he remarked.
Onnoghen on his own said said: “As the head of the Nigerian judiciary, the issue of corruption is a sensitive one. The judiciary finds itself being battered left, right and center. So, what should the Chief Justice of Nigeria say on occasion like this which will not appear as if it is in defence of his institution or shielding the bad eggs few of which I admit exist.
“Or just will I say except to (hiss) assure Nigerians that the Nigerian judiciary remains very much committed and in complete support of the effort at caging corruption in Nigeria. I stand for the Committee and other agencies in the fight against the scourge. I will like us to realize that corruption thrives (or any other form of injustice) thrives in a culture of impunity. Wherever you have a culture of impunity, you will have corruption.
Because people believe I must have this. It must this or nothing. It must be me and me alone.
“So, they throw away the constitutional provisions that have been drafted to guide our daily activities, inter-governmental, inter-personal; they throw away the principles of Rule of Law. But the judiciary holds this principles in care because that is the only way by which you can ensure an orderly society and ensure the good and maintenance of democracy and justice for us.
So, if you are to fight corruption then you fight the culture of impunity which is an attitudunal phenomenon, without adhering strictly to the constitutional provision of the rule of law.”
Similarly, sagay said that the Niger Delta Development Commission, NNDC bought eight vehicles for N560 million.
He also pick on the Nigerian Customs, saying “there is no difference in Customs since May 29, 2015. Of you go to Tin Can Island, it is business as usual”.