IS IT PRUDENT FOR A PRIVATE COMPANY TO FINANCE THE BUILDING OF A COURT HOUSE?

139

The answer to this question is in the negative. Why is this so?

Section 24(1) of the Constitution stipulates:

“ Any court or other adjudicating authority established by law for the determination of any criminal trial or matter, or for the determination of the existence or extent of any civil right or obligation, shall be independent and impartial….”

In short, the trial should be independent and impartial. A private company may be brought before a court or tribunal to answer to a case conducted in a courtroom that it financed to build. There is danger that justice will not be done in the circumstance.

The private sector may finance education, health, agriculture, road construction or other development projects for which they will not be subjected to a decision making process, lest they can influence the process. Financing the construction of courtrooms and court processes cannot make room for the private sector.

In fact, it is the judiciary that prepares its own budget subject to the scrutiny of the National Assembly, not the executive, as explicitly stated in section 144(1) of the Constitution:

“The Chief Justice shall submit the annual estimates of expenditure for the Judicature to the President for presentation to the National Assembly in accordance with this Constitution. The President shall cause the estimates to be placed before the National Assembly without amendment, but may attach to them his or her own comments and observations.”