REVEALED: Politicians tempts Judges with bribes!

Few hours after she bowed out of the Supreme Court bench, yesterday, Justice Olufunmilola Adekeye, revealed that politicians often besiege judges with mouth-watering bribe offers in order to win election petition cases in court.

Adekeye, who made the disclosure at the public presentation of a book, “Election Petition Practice & Procedure in Nigeria: A Practitioners Guide,” at the Federal Judicial Service Commission, FJSC, in Abuja, yesterday, described election years as most challenging periods for Nigerian Judges, stressing that at times, desperate politicians, in a bid to win at all cost, even attempt reaching out to judge through their relations, friends and close associates.

Admonishing judges across the federation to always heed to the oath of office they swore to uphold, Adekeye regretted the pervasive do-or-die syndrome among the political class, noting that unlike what obtains in the advanced countries, election losers in Nigeria, rather than congratulate their opponents after any electoral contest, resort to the courts.

According to her, “winners and losers should learn to congratulate each other after elections; that is never the case in Nigeria.

Immediately after every election begins a long drawn legal battle, it is always the do-or-die-syndrome. After every election, there must be litany of petitions.

“Politicians have developed the knack for using election petition periods as time to malign judges, batter them or say all sorts of things against them in the media.

“That notwithstanding, I encourage judges to always stand on the path of truth, play your own role according to the oath of office you swore to uphold. Don’t let them discourage you. The truth is that no judge will go to any politician to seek for bribe; it is these same politicians that will start looking for the judges all over the place, through relations, friends and close associates.

“As Nigerians, we must always stand up and defend our judges and protect their integrity. It is a pity that most times, even the political class does not understand the role of judges in democratic settings.”