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Okutepa SAN Warns Against Alarming Trend in Judicial Roadblocks


Toba Owojaiye reporting 

Abuja, Nigeria 


In a recent statement, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) J.S. Okutepa expressed deep concern about the state of Nigeria’s judiciary, emphasizing his duty to defend it as a lawyer: “As a lawyer, I have a burdened duty to defend the institution of judiciary in Nigeria.” He highlighted the judiciary’s vital role as the government’s most crucial arm, responsible for impartially deciding disputes without bias.

Truth Live News gathered that Okutepa SAN raised alarm about challenges in defending certain judgments in recent electoral jurisprudence, predicting potential turmoil in the 2027 elections due to a prevailing win-at-all-costs mentality that neglects democratic principles. He critiqued judgments limiting subpoenaed witnesses, branding it “a recipe for injustice, anarchy and destruction of Nigerian democracy.”

Questioning the characterization of INEC as a neutral entity in election petitions, Okutepa observed a growing trend of procedural roadblocks overshadowing justice. He lamented the admissibility of stolen evidence and the misuse of procedural rules, specifically citing the Electoral Act of 2022 and its potential negative impact on justice. Frustration arose from the judiciary becoming subservient to procedural laws, disregarding the pursuit of justice and common sense.

Highlighting challenges in seeking justice, Okutepa criticized INEC for not releasing documents before election petitions, accusing the courts of contributing to the erosion of justice through undue legal technicalities. He described an environment where winning elections revolves more around maneuvering through legal intricacies than ensuring a fair democratic process.

In closing, Okutepa cautioned against the judiciary potentially destroying democracy in Nigeria, calling for a reevaluation of judgments in electoral jurisprudence. His analysis urges a thorough examination of legal practices to safeguard the democratic process. The senior advocate’s quotes reflect a deep-seated concern for the direction of the Nigerian judiciary and the potential consequences on the nation’s democratic foundation.



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