The attorney-general of the federation(AGF) and minister of justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, has reiterated roles of the rule of law as the cornerstone of governance in any given polity.
This he said means that everything must be done according to the law adding both the government and the governed must always justify their actions in law.
The AGF said preserving and upholding the rule of law cannot be over-emphasized and also said both Judges and lawyers have a role to play in ensuring that justice is appropriately administered.
The AGF, at the opening ceremony of the 5th Annual Criminal Law Review Conference, themed Revitalization Of The Administration Of Justice In Nigeria: Federal Capital Territory Criminal Justice System In Focus, Organised by the former president of the Nigeria Bar Association, Joseph Bodurin Daudu, SAN, yesterday in Abuja, said the enactment of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015 has, to a very large extent addressed a wide range of issues that had prior to this time slowed down the criminal justice system which in turn resulted in poor outputs in terms of dispensation of justice.
According to him, the ACJA addressed the issue of unlawful arrest and detention which overcrowded police stations and Correctional Facilities by pruning grounds for arrest and also subjecting the exercise of the power of arrest to judicial moderation.
Delivering her keynote address, the honourable president of the Court Of Appeal, Hon Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, stated that an independent judiciary is necessary to ensure the Rule of Law is respected.
She insisted that the Judiciary is aware of its responsibilities, adding that an independent Judiciary is absolutely essential to the ‘rule of law’.
“Critics routinely assert that judicial independence is not possible given the current system of judicial appointments and the only answer to this kind of theoretical comments is that they do not necessarily reflect realities.
“Judges have frequently expressed their decisions and rulings in terms of what the ‘rule of law’ requires.
“Whatever their personal political persuasions, judges do not let political considerations influence their decisions. Judges must not be subjected to pressure and influence and they must be disposed to make impartial decisions based solely on fact and Law.”