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Pay Rise May Not End Corruption Among Judges – Farounbi

Ex-Nigeria Ambassador to the Philippines, Dr Yemi Farounbi, on Monday said better pay for judges might not eventually end corruption among judges in the country.

 He declared that the desire to be corrupt was an individual motivation that had nothing to do with how much such an individual received as remuneration.

Farounbi spoke in Osogbo, Osun State, during the presentation of a book, “The Art of a lawyer,” written by Awoniyi Alabi, in commemoration of his 31 years of advocacy and activism.

The former envoy also observed that the performance of the bench in the past few years had been rather average.

He said judges should be paid a reasonable amount within the context of the nation’s economy, but stressed that paying them very well did not mean there would not be corruption.

Asked to assess the performance of the judiciary in the recent past, Farounbi said, “It is neither outstanding nor poor. It is on the average.

“We have not witnessed any landmark judgment.  There has been no evidence of judicial activism that seeks to expand the scope of our law.

“Also in many of the cases, the proceedings have been predictable, not because the intellectual underpinnings are sound, but predictable because once you know the nature of the case or the nature of the judge, sometimes you know the outcome.

“But it can be better, particularly you can make the hearing of cases faster. The delays sometimes are not good for justice. The judiciary must stand up for social justice that is applicable to the greater number of people in Nigeria and not concentrate on legal justice.

“It is easy to want to earn what others earn, but are you doing what they are doing? Then, lawyers were respected for judicial activism and were defenders of the poor.

“Of course, I will say judges should be paid a reasonable amount within the context of the Nigerian economy but paying them very well does not mean there won’t be corruption.

“The desire to be corrupt is an individual motivation that has nothing to do with how much you are paid.”

In his remarks, the author of the book, Awoniyi, lamented the decline in the quality of lawyers being produced and advised that any intending lawyer should be ready for the demands of the profession.


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