By Wale Suleiman
For while it is true that the allegations of corruption against judges and lawyers predate the emergence of Buhari as president, the brazenness of the perversion of justice that riles him is only reflective of the current era of the collapse of the sanctity of the constitution that Buhari and his government have precipitated.
To be sure, we are all outraged at the judiciary’s loss of a moral compass that ought to guide its activities and therefore through every pronouncement reinforce the notion that it is the last bastion of justice for the common man. Rather than deterring corruption, the Bench and the Bar have become ready sources of its perpetuation in the society. Lawyers bribe judges for their clients to win cases. Justice is now for the highest bidder.
Politicians who empty the public treasury are allowed to plea-bargain and go home to enjoy their loot. Those who steal their organisations’ money to buy property all over the world are allowed to recover from phantom ailments in luxury hospitals while the shareholders suffer penury. But the poor person who steals a phone is sentenced to many years in prison without even an option of a fine.
With the return of democracy, corruption in the judiciary has become democratised. The numerous disputes over elections have become opportunities for judges to amass wealth. The late Justice Kayode Esho once alerted us to how some judges had become billionaires by giving judgements that were paid for.