Sulaiman, a one-time politician and the current lead counsel of Sulaiman Jabata & Co. speaks with KAYODE ADEOTI on issues bordering on governments’ attitude to the Judicial system in the country and why it should be proactive in using court to determine merit of cases. Excerpts:
What do you perceive of this present administration in relation to adhering to the tenet of law?
In my candid opinion, I will say judiciary has not fared well in the current administration, giving the fact that it is the last place where the common man can get justice; the present government has not done well in relating to the truthfulness entrenched in our constitution. There is no clear separation of power. Funny enough, this government benefited immensely from judiciary before they came on board and now they were shouting on top of their voices that the regime of Goodluck Jonathan has no respect for law. It is for the court to make order and it is for the government to comply with the order of the court, the order made by the court are not meant for funs, the government cannot prosecute their cases on their own and win. In the recent times, government has taken to the pages of newspaper to fight war, this is not right. If the government in their wisdom feels that certain people in the society are not doing well or are corrupt, they should take them to court. The court is an arbiter. All these charges against some people, in my own opinion, it should be tested in the court, I’m not averse to government arresting some judges but charges against them should be made known to them, the cases will be heard on their merit, for government to continue canvassing for support on the pages of newspaper is wrong. Issues should be trashed from the trial court to the apex that is when we can say the government is fair but for all intents and purposes, I’m not seeing such in this administration. What is happening in our country now is selected judgement. We’ve seen governors, ministers serving in this administration who have mismanaged fund. For corruption to be properly trashed, government must not only been seen fighting it but must be interested in justice. Look at what is happening in our society now, some of our senior lawyers were found wanting, it was displayed on newspapers, they should rather be tried in the court and if they were found guilty, law should take its course. Media trials will do us no good.
Bringing it down to Kwara state, would you say our government is being fair in the institution of their policies?
They are not, this state suppose to be law abiding in all sense. The constitution of Transition Implementation Committee (TIC) in our state is an aberration; it is against the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the constitution has made provision that council chairmen should be elected not appointed, what the government of the state is doing is against the law, it is null and void to law. This practise doesn’t have anywhere to stay in our society. The President, Governor and the chairman of the council must be elected. The offices are elective ones not sole appointments. We don’t have it in our constitution, we imported it. We need to know that what is not good is not good, no two ways to it.