OPENING REMARK AT THE JOS AKAAHS BOOK DISCOURSE ON ELECTIONS, JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE & DEMOCRATIC ACCOUNTABILITY ON 30 JUNE, 2022 @ SARAU EVENT CENTER, JOS- PLATEAU STATE – NIGERIA BY GLORIA MABEIAM BALLASON, AUTHOR /C.E.O. HOUSE OF JUSTICE
On behalf of the Management and Staff of House of Justice, I am pleased to be able to welcome you to the Jos Book Discourse of Akaahs: The Conscience of a Man, a Biography of Hon. Justice Kumai Bayang Akaahs, JSC Rtd OFR.
Plateau State is a second home to My lord Justice Akaahs for it is in this state of cascading waters and majestic mountains that His lordship began his secondary school and his aborted mission to be a priest. It is also in Jos that My lord spent an appreciable time of his judicial career.It is therefore fitting that we hold this survivalist discourse in this City.
The theme Elections, Judicial Independence & Democratic Accountability reflects the reality of the Nigerian and African situation and is relatable to even the most perennial of Democracies as we would soon learn from today’s most apt and cerebral speakers.
At the core of the Justice paradigm is the promise that the Court will be blind, impartial and objective and that it is insulated from the vices, wrongs and shenanigans it exists to right irrespective of the political winds that blow.
Sadly, for many, the Court which should exist to fight against injustice has left citizens forlorn and at the fringes fighting for their own kind of justice. It gets even more complicated when the Judiciary itself gains the perception of being politically exposed and used at the expense of public justice.
In the Nigerian situation, we have just experienced an ignoble first of Justices of the Apex Court writing in protest about the administration of the Supreme Court by the now retired Chief Justice Dr. Mohammed Tanko. This wrestle from implosion at the eve of an election year raises public concerns that need to be addressed.
The scales are now tipped. The task has now fallen to us- the Judiciary, Legal profession, Civil Society, Citizens, all and sundry to rise to the need of the hour for our collective salvation.
It is on that note that I welcome you to this stakeholders discourse that stems from the inspiration of the judicial courage of His lordship, Hon. Justice K.B. Akaahs JSC Rtd OFR . May we like him, be witnesses to justice and stay consistent on that path until injustice loses the tyranny to upend our courts, country, continent and our World.