Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo on Tuesday justified the arrest and detention of some judges across the country by men of the Department of State Services, saying judges must be held accountable.
Osinbajo, who spoke at the 46th yearly Conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria in Abuja, said courts remained public resource, hence, the need for judges to be accountable.
The Vice President who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the opening ceremony of the conference also said that accountants had been found wanting in the performance of their duties.
He said, “Part of the reasons why things are not working well in Nigeria as they ought to is the inability to hold officials accountable for their tasks. Holding a public official to account for their responsibility going forward is going to be a key way to increase performance.
“Those who handle public or private resources must account for their performance because lack of performance can hold down a country. Courts are a public resource, therefore judges and lawyers like every other public and private official must be held accountable for their responsibilities. We must be able to hold ourselves accountable for the responsibilities that we are charged with.
“If you look at the environment, sometimes, the administration of justice; processing cases is so slow. A lot of people in the local and international business community complain that we can’t resolve a case within a reasonable time; it goes on and on and the problem with that is that it slows business and discourages investments because you can hold up major decisions because the court has not made a pronouncement.
“A situation where banks’ books certified by accountants sometimes turn out to mean something else leaves much to be desired by the accounting professionals. Accountants have been found wanting. I think we need to hold ourselves accountable a bit more. We have to hold ourselves in very high standard.”
Speaking at the conference, President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Mr. Titus Soetan, said the perception of failure of leadership and the huge deficit in the delivery of public goods to Nigerians have culminated in a certain loss of faith in Nigeria.
Soetan said accountants must deliberately join the critical mass to support and sustain the on-going anti-corruption crusade by the government, adding that government can only manage resources effectively and achieve the type of results intended with effective and accountable institutions and systems.