Ahead of the 2015 general election, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, has said the National Judicial Council (NJC) will not spare any judge for any corrupt practices and misconduct.
Speaking in Abuja at the swearing-in of five newly appointed judges of the Abuja High Court, Justice Mohammed said he was committed to the speedy dispensation of justice and the adoption and utilisation of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in the various jurisdictions of the courts.
He called on the new judges to be wary of nefarious characters who might try to test their integrity as judicial officers.
He said: “As judicial officers, series of temptations will come your way but the ability to resist them will definitely stand you out and earn you a lasting reputation on the Bench, otherwise the NJC, which has the constitutional powers to discipline judicial officers, will not spare any judge for any misconduct.
“The law profession is a learned and distinguished one. For a judge, this distinction is further heightened because as dispensers of justice, you are now representatives of the Almighty Allah on earth. In your hands, you have the power of life and death, the power of judgment, the power to restitute, the power to give back and the power to take,” he added.
The CJN told them that the judges were the new face of law and order, the fulcrum between harmony on the one hand and chaos on the other.
He said: “No doubt, to effectively dispense your judicial functions and meet the jurisprudential needs of litigants in our courts, we must remain intellectually astute by consistently updating our knowledge of the law and other contemporary issues within the society. As aptly stated by Justinian, a great jurist and Roman Law giver: “The ignorance of a judge is the calamity of the innocent. Hence, I encourage you to read widely taking particular note of changes in statutes, case law and societal trends,” he added.
Justice Mohammed noted that “an issue which is of great concern to me and one that I am committed to addressing during my tenure, is the delay in the dispensation of justice and the resultant case backlog.
According to him, the sobering reality is that if the number of pending cases continue to grow at their present rate, many people might not be able to initiate and conclude a lawsuit within their lifetime.
It would be recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan, had last Tuesday approved the appointment of five new Judges for High Court of Justice of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja on the recommendation of the NJC.
They are: Muawiyah Baba Idris (Taraba); Bello Kawu (Gombe); Udukwu Umar (Ebonyi); Ogbonnaya Kezieh Nwamaka (Enugu); and Anriete Okon Ebang (Akwa Ibom).