By Grace Udofia
Abuja—Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, yesterday, told judges in the country to discharge justice without fear or favour to earn the respect of the populace and the litigants.
He spoke during a workshop on oil and gas matters for judges organised by Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, in collaboration with National Judicial Institute, NJI, in Abuja.
He said: “Our responsibilities as judicial officers must endear the hearts of the populace and litigants alike. Hence, you must be knowledgeable in the law and be in charge of your courts to ensure speedy resolution of disputes, which in turn serves as an economic development mechanism as investors and other major players in the industry will remain confident that their investments are safe.
“My lords, I must not fail to emphasize that you must have recourse to the arbitration clauses contained in Oil and Gas Agreements and ensure that parties respect these clauses before exploring the option of litigation on the matter.”
According to him, PTDF had been vested statutorily with special intervention powers and tools for the purpose of encouraging research and development in the oil and gas sector.
Earlier, Executive Secretary of PTDF, Dr. Bello Aliyu Gusau, affirmed that the Nigerian oil and gas industry was currently undergoing very major and fundamental changes, including the introduction of series of new legislations that would govern the operations of the industry.