Rasheed Jimoh Ijaodola is a Professor of Law and Dean, Oba Erediauwa College of Law, Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State. In this interview, he speaks with our JUDICIARY CORRESPONDENT, KAYODE ADEOTI on the calls for the establishment of state police among other sundry issues. Excerpts:
The issue of F-SARS reform has been generating discourse among members of the society, what is your take on this?
It’s not only the F-SARS we need to reform in Nigeria, there are lots more that are wrong and which need to equally be given attention. Our politicians too need to change their ways of politicking. You want to contest for election and you were asked to pay N45 millions, is that not part of the problems and is that democracy in its true sense? Many people want to contest for an election now in Nigeria, but there is no money to do so, the system has been conditioned in a way that will not favour the masses. However, the fact that the department of police is part demands reformation, it is a reflection of the general decadence in the society, we should go back to our traditional society where values were held in high esteem, when stealing was truly a crime. Unless we call back the values that are when we can be talking of reforming our institutions. We must be fair to ourselves and the country. Imagine a situation in which F-SARS arrest a motorist over road offence, he collected money from the driver, you cannot blame the officer because that is how he collect his own toll gate fee, just as how government do in some states.
Will you agree that establishment of state police will end crimes…?
I cannot agree to such, putting police under the state government might not actually work because they will have too much to handle. Another reason is based on the fact that the institution will be politicised to suit certain purposes. In fact, it might be used against political opponents. We should not make mistakes about this issue so that killings will not escalate. Nigerians don’t fear God. I don’t support it.
The cost of the intent forms for aspiring politicians in the 2019 general elections has been generating series of debates in the society…?
There is nothing they can do about it any longer, it’s not in the constitution that an aspirant should pay such money, our government is not being fair with the cost. I see it as a way of disallowing the masses from contesting. How can a civil servant, or someone like me, a teacher, a professor get that type of money but I’m interested in becoming the governor of my state. I want to offer myself as a credible candidate for my state. We need to go back to the days of UPN when people pay no money to contest election.
On the issue of local government, judiciary autonomies, what is the update?
State governors opposed autonomy for local governments and they ensured money doesn’t flow at the council levels. For the judiciary, it should be autonomous in its true sense with good judges, not the ones appointed by politicians. This will make them discharge their duties efficiently and without the fear of anyone. I was watching a documentary of Somalia and I was shedding tears when I saw how flies were coming out of the noses, eyes of children even the elderly ones in that video clip, I pray Nigeria case will not deteriorate into that before something drastic is done to salvage our country. A Nigerian should be Nigerian, we should not be interested in where individual comes from.