The Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo on Friday warned that Nigeria’s judiciary was severely threatened by corruption and could degenerate if nothing was done urgently to salvage the situation.
Osinbajo stated this in his remark at the 4th Convocation ceremony of the Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti state.
He said activities and actions in the legal profession and the judiciary in general were threatening both the integrity and existence of the sector.
Osinbajo said the trend if allowed continue would completely destroy the legal profession and throw entire judicial system into chaos.
According to the vice president, the sheer enormity and pervasiveness of corruption in public institutions makes it absolutely important for leaders of the institutions to begin to talk about what to do.
He said: “the leadership of our institution, the legal profession and the institutions of the judiciary must begin to ask the question, how long can things go on this way?
“The truth of the matter is that we may not have what was handed to us in terms of the profession and in terms of the judicial institution if we do not intervene quickly in a manner that will change the order of things permanently.
“It is a call I will like to make to the leadership of our profession that our institution and the institution that we hold dear are under threat, they are under threat largely because of the pervasive corruption, we must deal with that situation and must deal with it quickly.’’
Osinbajo said the magnitude of corruption required urgent steps to be taken in order to purge and reform institutions in order to inculcate in the younger generation virtues that would reposition the system.
He argued that prosecution of offenders alone could not completely address the challenge posed by corruption and advocated for national reorientation as a strategy of addressing corruption from the lower level of society.
“The truth of the matter is that indeed our nation needs a reorientation, that reorientation must well begin from those who we can influence and I very strongly agree with what Aare Afe Babalola has said that the university is a great place to begin.
“But I must say that not much has changed in 2001 when he made those arguments, indeed the virus of corruption has eaten deeper; corruption in all institutions has become an existential problem for us, as Mr President said, if we don’t kill corruption; corruption will kill us, every institution is under threat; the executive, the judiciary and the legislature,’’ the vice president warned.
Prof. Osinbajo commended the efforts of the founder of ABUAD, Aare Afe Babalola and the entire management of the university for demonstrating how best to transform education in Nigeria.
He said Aare Afe Babalola’s effort in transforming education in Nigeria was one that deserved support from government and other well-meaning Nigerians.
He urged the graduating students to acquire and develop skills in areas that would make them useful in an ever changing and globalized society, continually driven by innovations in technology.
The vice president witnessed the conferment of honorary degrees to three distinguished personalities- Prof. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond of the Central State University, Ohio, USA; Dr. Cosmas Maduka of Coscharis Group and Dr. Raymond Zard of Zard Group of Companies. (NAN)