Musdapher Says Judiciary Needs Sanitation
Says Judiciary Needs Sanitation. The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru Musdapher, yesterday, stressed need for an urgent review of processes for the appointment of judges in the country, saying appropriate and necessary steps must be taken towards sanitising the judiciary.
The CJN, who made the call while swearing in 12 newly appointed judges of the Federal High Court, insisted that “in the very near future, as part of the reforms undertaken by the judiciary, processes for appointment will be more rigorous and may include tests and interviews in order to choose the most suitable Nigerians to man the courts.”
Warning the new judges to extricate themselves from politics, Musdapher emphasized that “allegations of impropriety against any judicial officer to the relevant body must be substantiated with evidence by the party who alleges same.”
According to the CJN, “one of the most important rules of conduct for a judge is to guard against bribery and all other forms of corrupt practices. Doing contrary would amount to unlawful gain, unfaithful conduct, divine transgression and offending the judicial oath and the trust of the common man. Hence, I urge you to shun corruption and shrink from all actions, inactions, omissions or commissions capable of bringing the Judiciary into disrepute.
“The legal profession and, indeed, the judicature is a noble calling. In truth, the nobility is more exemplified in the personality of a judge, for in reality, the idea of submitting our failings, our vulnerabilities and frailties for determination before a human arbiter underlines the need for the exercise of the highest standard of professionalism, in fulfillment of this noble role.
“I, therefore, charge each of you to be dedicated and discharge your duties without fear or favour, affection or ill-will. For as Ministers in the Temple of Justice, we must do justice to the satisfaction of not just the parties but the public as well. We must remember that as we sit at trial, we also stand on trial.
“We must never be complacent in our observation of moral values, as behaviour you exhibit in-curiae and ex-curiae is the foundation upon which the public will accord the institution of the Judiciary respect or disrespect.
“My learned brothers, avoid all elements of impropriety in your dealings both in your official duties and in your personal lives. I must emphasize that this will require that you remain politically neutral and defend the constitution and safeguard our young democracy at all times,” he added.
Meantime, the CJN, yesterday, said henceforth, some judges would be exclusively assigned to try high profile corruption cases on a day to day basis, noting that “the Federal High Court is now properly staffed to deal without any delay, cases filed by the EFCC and ICPC.”
“At present, there are about 150,000 pending cases at the Federal High Courts and the state High Courts throughout the Federation. Permit me to acknowledge the support of the National Assembly as they had given the nod to increase the number of judges of the Federal High Court from 70 to 100.”
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