The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar, has assured hard-working and honest judges that they have nothing to fear as long as they comply with their judicial oath.
She also reminded those who chose the corrupt or dishonorable path and become indolent that they would be severely dealt with.
Speaking in Abuja at the opening of an induction course for newly appointed judges and khadis organised by the National Judicial Institute (NJI), Justice Mukhtar advised the new judges to imbibe the judiciary’s ways of life immediately.
She said: “You are welcome to the judiciary family. As you have come in, please put in the judiciary clothes and imbibe the judiciary’s way of life immediately. “Any deviation could be devastating not just to you but to the entire Nigerian judiciary.
“The Nigerian judiciary can no longer condone indolence, ineptitude, corruption or any form of judicial misconduct.
“As new judicial officers, your future is in your hands. Do your work well and you will have nothing to fear, but a lot to gain.
“However, if you choose the corrupt or dishonorable path or become indolent and unproductive, more of a liability than an asset, you can only have yourself to blame because the consequences will not be pleasing, though deserving.”
She explained that Judicial Performance Evaluation (JPE) was intended to provide a broad-based and politically neutral assessment of judges performance on the bench based on the process of judging rather that the outcomes reached.
According to her, evaluation results may be used to facilitate judicial self-improvement; or for higher appointment, adding that: “Most importantly, it helps to promote public confidence in the judiciary.”
She said judicial performance evaluation was also a mechanism through which judges performance on the bench could be measured against established benchmark.
Mukhter said although JPE programmes varied in their scope and design, most consisted of collection and analysis of behavior and process oriented data on judicial performance in such areas as legal ability, impartiality and fairness, integrity, judicial temperament and demeanor, communication skills, administrative skills and professionalism.
“It is not just only about the number of cases disposed off,” she added,
Earlier, in a welcome address, the Administrator of the National Judicial Institute (NJI), Justice Umaru Eri, retired said the programme was of special importance in that it was the most outstanding of the courses that the institute was enjoined by the Act establishing it to organise.
According to him: “It is in fact compulsory course because it marks the formal welcoming of newly appointed judicial officers to the judiciary. The course brings to the fore the dos and don’ts of the bench as well as the conduct and comportment required of judicial officers on and off the bench.
“The uniqueness of the course is not so much of the quality of the papers presented, rather, its uniqueness stems from the experience sharing by older members of the bench with the newly appointed judges.”