By Oladapo Udom
Lagos, Oct.14, 2020 A retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Justice Sunday Akintan, on Wednesday advocated a firm and disciplined reformed judiciary that would be capable of eroding corruption in the other sectors of the country.
Akintan said this during the formal public presentation of his book titled: “Reminiscences: My Journey Through Life” which held at The Bay Lounge Hall, Lekki, Lagos State.
“When the judiciary is firm and disciplined every other sector will sit up.
“One major problem we have is to get the justice system to be firm because once the court is slacked people will continue to commit crimes with impunity.
“Criminals will use their influences and capitalise on the problems in the judicial system to ensure that their cases are not tried,” he said.
The Octogenarian who retired in 2008 said that reforming the judiciary is necessary so that crime would be dealt with decisively instead of wasting time on the process of bail.
He said that if a person who had committed a crime should be on trial for over five years, that should show that such a judicial system is not good.
“Bail is not mandatory and if it is to be given, it should be given on the spot,” he said.
Akintan said that corruption was not common during his time in service but that corruption has become a menace embedded in every sector of the country including the judiciary.
“In the past, judges were given Nigerian assembled 504 Peugeot cars which was enough for us then but it is big cars from foreign countries that are being distributed now.
“The system of appointment is also faulty because most times, it is not those who are rightfully qualified for the job that get the appointments,” he said.
The judge also said that the rate of kidnapping had increased tremendously in the past years for lack of the judiciary to enforce the law on criminals because of their financial might in controlling the system.
“I urge those coming into the system to be honest and be firm by refusing to take what I call, “I beg you” and “I thank you” because the two are corruption.
“If you adjust your life to involve them you will live above your means and get corrupted because “I beg you” is pre-corruption while “I thank you” is post corruption,” he said.
Akintan said that he decided to write his memoir so that he could share his wealth of experience with and educate the up-and-coming generations before he exits the scene.
“My book contains valuable lessons which I will not want to be buried with me because when an elderly person is buried, a whole library is being buried with the person,” he said.
He, however, said that the greatest challenges he encountered in writing his book was a dwindling loss of memory and the inaccurate use of computer system.
Also speaking, the Bishop of Lagos Anglican Diocese, Bishop Humphrey Olukamaiye, thanked God for the public presentation of the book written by Akintan.
“We thank God for his life of honesty, forthrightness and dynamism which is a good lesson to the coming generation to emulate and become great leaders like him.
“If our youths can do this, the nation will definitely be a better place for everyone of us,” Olukamaiye said.
Also, Prof. Emmanuel Adegbeyeni said that Akintan was a man blessed with great insight and the ability to always want to help people who were in need.
Adegbeyeni urged the public to get copies of the book to understand better the justice system and why it needed to be properly reformed.