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Why judges must insist on justice, by CJN


Chief Justice of Nigeria Justice Mahmud Mohammed

Chief Justice of Nigeria Justice Mahmud Mohammed

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Mahmud Mohammed, has reminded judges of the need to operate according to law.

He spoke, yesterday, while delivering a lecture entitled, ‘Bridging The Legal, Moral And Social Interpretation Of Law’, during the second Justice Anthony Aniagolu Memorial Lecture Series, at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu.

Describing judges as bastions of hope, he said: “Sometimes, politicians and public commentators express irritation or resentment at the refusal of judges to conform to the wishes and policies of the government. It merely reflects the institutional repugnance with independence of any organ of state. This is not surprising, as independence of any kind is likely to be regarded as a threat to a government’s capacity to govern effectively. This is reflected where the government begins to regard the judiciary as a ‘headache’ or ‘the trouble with government’.”

Boniface Onwuka Igwe, a lawyer, read the CJN’s lecture.

Also speaking, former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, expressed concern over the “judiciary being on trial.”

Describing judges as deities, Duke recalled that in the days of the late Justice Aniagolu, successful lawyers were elevated to the bench. He regretted that today the reverse was the case because politicians decided to alter the right course. “Today, unsuccessful lawyers are moved to the bench. And we, the politicians, caused them to be moved to the bench,” he said.

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Mahmud Mohammed
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