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Beware of politicians’ cravings for power, CJN warns judicial officers

By Ameh Ochojila, Abuja
29 November 2022   |   3:29 am
Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, has cautioned judicial officers to be wary of politicians and their cravings for power.

CJN Olukayode Ariwoola

NJC delivers retrofitted courtroom to S’Court to speed justice

Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, has cautioned judicial officers to be wary of politicians and their cravings for power.

The CJN gave the warning, yesterday, at a special session of the Supreme Court marking the commencement of the 2022/2023 legal year.

“To our fellow judicial officers across the various strata of courts, I urge you to be on guard and be the master of the game. You cannot afford to put up any lackadaisical attitude at this crucial period of our national history. Some politicians may be on the prowl, looking for whom to entrap in their usual dragnet of political stratagem,” the CJN said.

Ariwoola, who cautioned the officers that they “must not fall for it” or allow themselves “to be used,” declared that the “sledgehammer of justice will descend heavily” on violators.

He said: “Always remember that the moment the food in the clean bowl is finished, the status of the bowl changes to ‘dirty.’ Don’t allow anyone to use and dump you. Let your conscience be your guide and guard. You must apply the law rightly on all matters that come before Your Lordships. You should always see yourselves as being eminently qualified to take charge of every situation or challenge that confronts you. Don’t allow the soft spot in you that may easily fall for material lust to blight your emotions and power of resistance.”

The highlight of the event was the oath conferred on 62 Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) by the CJN.

In his remarks, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said the recipients represent the best the legal community has to offer.

He disclosed that as part of efforts to strengthen justice dispensation in the country, the Federal Ministry of Justice is in the process of reviewing the National Policy on Justice, to enhance its ability to tackle issues hindering the sector.

Malami said: “Only recently, the Federal Executive Council approved the revised National Anti-Corruption Strategy and Action Plan (2022–2026).

“We have also recorded modest gains from the operationalisation of provisions of the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act, 2022, vide which recoveries running into billions in various currencies are being ploughed into funding critical infrastructural projects, such as the Abuja-Kano and Lagos-Ibadan Expressways, and the Second Niger Bridge, all under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund.”

MEANWHILE, National Judicial Council (NJC), in Abuja, yesterday, moved to ensure quick justice for Nigerians with the delivery of a retrofitted courtroom to the Supreme Court.

The courtroom was commissioned by Ariwoola.

Delivering the facility to the CJN, the Chairman, of Judiciary Information Technology, Justice Kashim Zannah, described it as one of the nine recently completed technologically enhanced courtrooms across the country.

“This is in furtherance of a key plank of the National Judicial Policy, which creates for the judiciary a charter of commitment to promote and ensure the highest possible standard of qualitative justice delivery,” the chairman said.

Zannah, who is the Chief Judge of Borno State, explained the retrofitted courtroom is an initiative of the National Judicial Council/JITPCO towards standardisation of courtroom infrastructure nationwide, by integrating ICT into court processes in Nigeria.

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