…warns new Magistrates to shun corruption
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA- The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, on Monday, identified delay in the administration of Justice as a major challenge facing the Nigerian Judiciary.
The CJN, said the only way the country could overcome the challenge was for Judges to embrace global best practices directed towards speedy dispensation of justice, such as the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution, ADR, and other case management techniques in handling legal disputes.
Justice Onnoghen stated this at the opening ceremony of the 2017 orientation course for newly appointed Magistrates, held at the National Judicial Institute, NJI, in Abuja.
According to him, “The Nigerian Judiciary has been faced with a lot of challenges, prominent among them is the delay in the administration of Justice which has been in the front burner of several discourse.
“To overcome some of these challenges responsible for the delay in the administration of Justice, it behoves on each and every one of us to be disciplined, focused and innovative in the performance of our duties as Ministers in the Temple of Justice.
“You must embrace global best practices directed towards speedy dispensation of justice, such as the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and other case management techniques in handling cases in your courts.
“Let me also urge you to avoid unnecessary adjournments and improve the quality of justice delivery in your courts through the use of Information and Communication Technology.
“You will be expected to discharge your duties with competence, fairness, transparency, integrity and with a great sense of responsibility.
“You must shun corruption and lead by example. You must adhere strictly to judicial ethics and Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers which is applicable to Magistrates”.
The CJN, whose keynote address was read by Justice Akaahs Bayang of the Supreme Court, said the Orientation Course for newly appointed Magistrates was very necessary in view of enormous and pivotal roles Magistrates play in the administration of Justice.
“As you may be aware, the course not only serve as a forum to indict you into the Magistracy, but it also serves as a forum to provide you with basic information and knowledge that will enable you align with your new position and responsibilities, as well as, the effective discharge of your duties as Magistrates”, the CJN added.
In her welcome address, the Administrator of the NJI, Justice R. P. I. Bozimo, said the theme of this year’s course, “Promoting Judicial Excellence in the Administration of Justice”, was most appropriate and in time with the current drive by the Nigerian Judiciary in attaining excellence in the discharge of its statutory responsibilities through innovative approach in the administration of Justice.
“Let us all appreciate the fact that an effective administration of justice is a coner-stone of good governance, which in turn is a requisite for development.
“We must imbibe best practices that ensure smarter and better ways of dispensing justice.
“It is also heartwarming to note that the Nigerian Judiciary is taking giant strides at judicial reforms and it is therefore your responsibility to align with this current drive”, Justice Bozimo added.