James Ogwu Onoja, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has described the protracted face-off between the Kogi State government and the Judiciary as most unfortunate.
Onoja said that it was irresponsible for an executive arm to dictate to the Judiciary how to run its affairs.
He spoke at Ofante Ogugu in Olamaboro Local Government Area of the state during his annual Unyi Ogugu football tournament for the youths of his communities at Ofante.
The legal luminary stated that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria had spelt out functions of each of the arm of government – Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary – to avoid frictions saying that the ongoing strike embarked by the judiciary over pay parade of the state government negates the principle of separation of power.
He said it was undemocratic for the executive to dictate for the Judiciary to subject its staff to pay parade before collecting salaries which to him is a ploy to muzzle the Judiciary advising the executive not to impinge on the rights of others.
“One cannot imagine a government planning a table payment for judges and other staff of judiciary, and the Chief Judge said it is not possible because judiciary supposed to be independent to be able to discharge justice on behalf of the ordinary man.
“Regrettably, the Judiciary in Nigeria is not truly independent because if it is truly independent a governor cannot dictate to a Chief Judge of a state on how to run the judiciary arm of government.
“So what we are seeing now is an attempt by the state government to emasculate the judiciary to bring them to total subjugation in this era of election where we need an independent judiciary to mediate in political cases that would end in the judiciary,” he bemoaned.