BY IKECHUKWU NNOCHIRI
ABUJA—The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Mariam Aloma Muktar, yesterday, warned judicial officers in the country to henceforth discharge their responsibilities with “ethics and integrity”, saying the era of lip service to good conduct in the Nigerian Judiciary is over.
The CJN who made the declaration at the opening of a workshop for Chief Registrars, Secretaries of Judicial Service Commissions/Committee, said it was high time the image of the judiciary was improved with a view to regaining public confidence in the system.
Justice Muktar who was represented by another female Justice of the apex court, Justice Olufunlola Adekeye, said the judiciary was central to the continued existence of the Nigerian society, noting that “once the public loses its confidence in the organ of government charged with adjudication and justice delivery, then that society is no doubt set for extinction.”
According to the CJN, “since the judiciary as an arm of government does not have a garrison of soldiers or police to compel compliance with its orders, ruling and judgment, it can only survive on public confidence. This public confidence will be eroded by actions and inactions.”
Consequently, she tasked judicial officers to be above board and embrace equity and fairness as their operational watchword, adding that “the era of paying lip service to good conduct is over as it was now time for us to ‘work the talk’ in order to bolster the credibility of the judiciary and enhance its public image.
“Therefore rather than preach ethics and integrity. I urge you to act ethics and integrity. Show leadership by example. Lead all your staff and let them learn good ethical conduct and integrity from you. By so doing, the image of the judiciary will receive high rating in the opinion of the public that we serve.”
Meanwhile in his address, the administrator of the National Judicial Institute, NJI, Justice Umaru Eri, emphasized that “as high ranking officers in the judiciary, it is also imperative for you to ensure that judicial ethics, commitment to duty and honesty are sustained at all times.”