The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, has implored newly appointed judges of High Courts and Kadis of Sharia Courts, to shun all forms of gratification in the discharge of their legal duties.
The CJN, who gave the charge on Monday in Abuja, also admonished the judges to be proactive and devise personal means to curb what he described as persistent delay in the administration of justice.
Justice Muhammad made the call while declaring open the 2020 Virtual Induction Course for newly appointed judges and Kadis organised by the National Judicial Institute.
He noted that delay in the administration of justice is the major bane of the nation’s judiciary.
“My lords, ladies and gentlemen, it is no longer news that much of the criticisms leveled against the justice delivery system in Nigeria are about delays in the administration of justice, biased and wrong application of laws.
“These acts are often not to the delight of litigants and court users as they often frown at the way services are rendered.
“As such, a better understanding of the current trends in justice administration will help you appraise and curb the waste of judicial time and resources; thereby ensuring justice delivery is efficient and proactive.
“Accordingly, while discharging your duties, it is important to note that all forms of gratification must not be associated with you.
“You must not be found wanting. Transparency, honesty and accountability must remain your watch words; I urge you therefore, to eschew corruption in the discharge your duties,” the CJN said.
He also encouraged the new judges to be abreast with relevant laws, maintain judicial authority in the courtroom, develop a simple style of judgment writing and optimize time and resources.
The CJN further advised them to endeavour to obtain a good understanding of their operating environment, so as to avoid possible pitfalls and challenges when deciding on matters brought before them.
On her part, the Administrator of the NJI, retired Justice Rosaline Bozimo, said that the course themed: “Inculcating Judicial Excellence in the Newly Appointed Judicial Officers” was aimed at adequately equipping the new judges for the challenges on the higher bench.
Bozimo reminded the new judges that their appointment was a privileged one and advised them do everything to live above board.
“Let me use this medium to caution you to refrain and spurn all forms of corrupt practices, bearing in mind the provisions of the Code of Conduct for judicial officers and the oath of office which you have sworn to.
“It is my firm belief that you will continue to adhere to this admonition; in the same vein, this course will aid you in the proper application of the code of conduct for judicial officers in the discharge of your duties.
She assured the judges that the institute would be more than willing to conduct workshops that would aid them in the discharge of their duties.