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CJN warns against prejudicial comments on pending court matters



Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, has cautioned  against prejudicial comments on cases pending in law courts.  

In a statement issued yesterday by his Senior Special Assistant (Media), Mr. Awassam Bassey, Justice Onnoghen referred to the Anambra State Central Senatorial District dispute, and warned that it is a contempt of court for anyone to discuss any matter pending in any court of law in the country.

“The punishment for Contempt may include a term of imprisonment,” he warned.

The CJN particularly frowned at the language being used in describing the judgments of the courts, stressing that it is not only ungentlemanly, degrading and contemptuous, but equally amounts to uncharitable insults, which should not be encouraged in any decent democracy.   

“It is in the light of the above that the CJN continues to encourage parties and the general public to use only lawful means in the pursuit of remedies for their real and imagined grievances.

“The CJN reiterates his appeal to litigants, advocates and the public to refrain from making unsubstantiated and malicious allegations and complaints against judicial officers.”  

He further called on judges to consider invoking their inherent power of contempt where there are clear violations or infractions in respect of matters that are subjudice.  

While pledging the commitment of the judiciary in ensuring justice at all times, the CJN maintained that  rule of law remained the solution to the country’s numerous problems.

The plan by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to conduct a re-run election for the Senatorial District on this weekend has been generating serious debate.  

Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal had in November last year, ordered INEC to conduct a re-run election for Anambra Central Senatorial District.   
Meanwhile, the PDP had approached the Supreme Court, seeking to set aside the judgment of the Appeal Court on the matter.  

Also, the Federal High Court, Abuja, had on December 13, 2017 ordered the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to forthwith, swear in Obiora Okonkwo as Senator representing the same Anambra Central Senatorial District of Anambra State.  

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