The Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Reverend Dr. Paulinus Ezeokafor, says the Nigerian judiciary, especially in the matters concerning the last presidential election, has put itself in a serious ridicule.

In his message at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Awka during a eucharistic celebration to mark the beginning of 2023/2024 Legal year, Bishop Ezeokafor regretted that while many countries are developing because they give primacy to the rule of law and faithful enforcement of the law; regardless of who is involved, the reverse is the case in Nigeria, blaming it on few bad eggs that are holding the noble profession hostage.
Bishop Ezeokafor’s message reads:
“My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, I welcome you to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Awka. We have gathered here to commend the New Legal Year into the hands of God. Putting God first matters a lot especially in our society where many institutions, including the judiciary are wobbling between a step forward and thousands of steps backward.
Time to reflect
We are in a time in the history of our nation where the words of Pope John XXIII resound: “the right ordering of human society presupposes the right ordering of man’s conscience with God, who is Himself the source of all justice, truth and love” (Mater et Magistra no. 215). Events in the very recent past in the Nigerian Judiciary, worst at her highest level, the Supreme Court in the matters concerning the Presidential Election, have put the Nigerian Judiciary to serious ridicule. It has been the accepted and hallowed belief that the judiciary is the last hope of the common man. Today that firm belief seems to have been completely the opposite in many minds. The judiciary has been presented and seen as the ‘lost hope’ of the common man. Many developed countries progress because primacy is given to the rule of law and the faithful enforcement of laws without respecting persons or titles. The judiciary is supposed to checkmate the excesses of the Executive arm of government. But in Nigeria the reverse seems to be the case and positive progress is constantly eluding us.
As a clergy, a bishop in the Catholic Church, I am aware that a failing of one of the priests can tarnish and make nonsense of the efforts of many who are making honest effort to live out their calling. The level of the offence can even make others feel very ashamed to identify with the group and be so identified. There is no doubt that a good number of the members of the judiciary are men and women of integrity but the misdemeanor of one person can make a mess of a noble profession like yours.
It is therefore not a question of the man at the pulpit to deliver a beautiful homily, talk to us, we should rather reflect seriously on the harm the Nigerian Judiciary, worst still at the highest level, has done to the Nigerian society.
Let us therefore take some minutes to make sober reflection and talk to ourselves in the privacy of our minds. Nigeria has become an object of ridicule before the entire world because few persons in the judiciary are holding your noble profession hostage. The positive change must come from you individually and collectively.
Reacting, the Chief Judge of Anambra State, Justice Onochie Anyachebelu, assured that members of the judiciary will continue to make efforts to take back the slogan that the judiciary is the last hope of the common man, and indeed all men of good will.
He said that Nigeria will be gone any day the judiciary is regarded as no longer the last hope of the common man.
Present at the celebration include Governor Chukwuma Soludo represented by his Deputy, Dr. Onyekachukwu Ibezim, Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Right Honourable Somtochukwu Udeze, and Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Aderemi Adeoye.
Credit: Joseph Egbeocha


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