June 12: Tinubu targets judicial reforms as ‘critical pillar of democracy’

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President Bola Tinubu has espoused on the importance of judicial reforms in order to strengthen the country’s democratic institutions and processes.

Tinubu stated this on Monday, during a live broadcast commemorating Democracy Day, June 12 in Nigeria.

Last week, he had assented to a constitutional amendment bill harmonising the retirement age of judges across courts.

The Director of Information, State House, Abiodun Oladunjoye, disclosed in a statement on Thursday that the president signed the bill presented by the outgoing 9th National Assembly.

Buttressing this mandate, President Tinubu, during the broadcast explained that a vibrant judiciary is needed in order to ensure adherence to the rule of law.

He also revealed that this was part of the reason for the harmonization of retirement ages of judicial officers.

Tinubu said, “It is about rule of law and vibrant judiciary that can be trusted to deliver justice and strengthen institutions. It has become imperative to state here that the unnecessary illegal orders used to truncate or abridge democracy will no longer be tolerated. “The recent harmonization of the retirement age for judicial officers is meant to strengthen the rule of law, which is a critical pillar of democracy. The reform has just started.

Read Also: FOR THE RECORD: Democracy Day 2023 address by President Tinubu (Full text)

“The democracy that will yield right dividends to the people who are the shareholders means more than just freedom of choice and right to get people into elective offices. It means social and economic justice for our people.”

He also stressed that the recently-concluded elections which were keenly contested was an evidence of the country’s strong democracy.

Tinubu also noted how politicians had sought redress at the courts in order to register their displeasure with the elections results, taking full advantage of their constitutional rights.

“That the polls were intensely contested is in itself positive evidence that democracy is well and alive in our land. It is only natural that even as those who won and experienced victory in the various elections are elated and fulfilled, those who lost are disenchanted and disappointed. But the beauty of democracy is that those who win today can lose tomorrow and those who lose today will have an opportunity to compete and win in the next round of elections.

“Those who cannot endure and accept the pain of defeat in elections do not deserve the joy of victory when it is their turn to triumph. Above all, those who disagree with the outcome of the elections are taking full advantage of the constitutional provisions to seek redress in court and that is one of the reasons why democracy is still the best form of government invented by man,” the president said.

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