Abuja — The Federal Government yesterday conceded that the country is gradually descending into anarchy.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN, who made this disclosure at the valedictory session held at the Supreme Court yesterday for retiring Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru Musdapher, however said that government was taking steps to curb the slide.
He said: "Government is equally concerned about the spate of civil disturbances across the Country.
"The recent Boko Haram and Jos crises are unfortunate examples that have evoked a lot of emotions and public condemnation both in Nigeria and from the international community.
"Government is working hard to stem the tide of this gradual descent to anarchy by diligently prosecuting all those indicted for civil disturbances to serve as deterence."
The President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Chief Joseph Daudu, SAN said Nigerians have lost faith in the ability of government to protect them from premeditated killings.
While commiserating with the people of Plateau state on the killing of hundreds of people in Riyom and other villages, Daudu noted it was particularly sad given that it's not the first time such would be occurring.
He said: "It is settled law that the state in exchange for the people's obedience is enjoined to protect their lives and property. There has been a palpable failure to protect the lives of Nigerians by the state from internal strife or external aggressor."
Daudu said that such aggressors and murderers should be pursued as far as into other sovereign territories.
He said: "However, none of the foregoing has happened to restore the faith of Nigerians in the ability of government to provide safety and security.
Daudu also alleged that some judges falsify their ages so that they could remain in the Bench for longer than they are permitted by law.
According to him, some judicial officers swear to false ages, popularly referred to as official age.
He said: "There have been instances of judicial officers supposedly retiring at the constitutionally prescribed age (65 years) only for a bewildered public to read his obituary issued by his family two years later announcing his passing away at 80 years."
He said that younger members of the legal profession seeking judicial appointments had also been known to fiddle with their ages so as to guarantee what they anticipate would be a long stay on the Bench.
"It is now becoming rampant and affecting the productivity of judicial officers. My lords, if this trend persists, then the Bar recommends that the data of aspiring judges be published so that (a) it becomes a permanent record for the future, (b) claims and objections can be raised, (c) agencies such as Universities and the Law School can cross-check their records and post their own results.
In his valedictory speech, Musdapher said that although there were numerous allegations of corruption against judges, there were no evidence to substantiate the allegations.