Edwin Clark Urges Chief Justice Ariwoola to Combat Corruption and Malpractices in the Judiciary

By Milcah Tanimu

Edwin Clark, a prominent South-South leader, has penned an open letter to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, urging him to urgently implement comprehensive reforms in the judiciary. Clark expressed concern over alleged corruption, malpractices, and abuse of office within the judiciary, asserting that immediate action is required to restore the profession’s integrity.

Clark recalled the successful reforms undertaken by Justice Dahiru Musdapher in 2011 and suggested that CJN Ariwoola has the authority to initiate similar changes. He emphasized the need to investigate judicial and non-judicial officers, as well as Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) involved in corrupt practices, and called for amendments to laws and rules of procedure for corruption cases, shifting the burden of proof to the accused.

The elder statesman stressed the importance of addressing issues within the judiciary, citing concerns about the CJN’s reported disinterest and resistance to public opinion. Clark highlighted the judiciary’s role in upholding justice and urged the CJN to take inspiration from his predecessor, Justice Musdapher.

Clark, at the age of 96, expressed his commitment as a senior citizen to speak out on critical issues affecting the country. He referenced the humiliation of former CJN Justice Walter Onnoghen, describing it as a stain on the judiciary and the Nigerian Bar. He accused the former Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and the Presidency of conspiring to prevent Justice Onnoghen from nominating judges for various tribunals after the 2019 Presidential election.

The letter further raised concerns about the socialization between judges and senators facing criminal charges and the occurrence of conflicting judgments within the same court, extending to the Court of Appeal.


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