The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, has pledged to partner with journalists and other stakeholders to sanitise Nigeria’s judicial system.
Muhammad made the pledge shortly after he was sworn in as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) at the State House, Abuja, on Wednesday.
He described as unfortunate the situation where judges allowed some people to serve as links between them and people standing trial in court, saying such scenario must stop.
To this end, the CJN challenged journalists to alert him or expose suspected cases of corrupt practices in the judiciary, emphasising that the judiciary under his watch would be more transparent and corruption-free.
He, however, warned that allegations of corruption against any judicial official must be substantiated to guide against tarnishing the good image of the affected individual and the system.
“I will want to see the Nigerian judiciary become the best judiciary in the world although we are still learning but I am proud to say Nigeria’s judiciary I am sure is one of the best in Africa.
“If you take a look at our judicial officers, all of us are fully trained yet all of us at intervals still go on courses so that we remind ourselves of the ethics binding on us.
“I’m telling you that the judiciary under my watch by God’s grace will be better and the issues of all these kinds of corruption I will ask you people or any other person who knows about it to please let him write to me or let him have contact with me and tell me.
“But remember, the thing that is difficult is when we ask you to substantiate you will be able to substantiate.
“Don’t just make a hollow allegation that `we have heard’, ‘we have done’. Be sure that you are quite in possession of your facts (so that) you will be able to establish when we ask you to establish your allegation and we will deal with it,’’ he said.
The CJN stated that the judiciary would continue to support the executive arm of government in the ongoing fight against corruption by speeding up cases that have to do with the allegation of corruption.
The swearing in of the CJN, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, was witnessed by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila.
Others at the event were governors of Bauchi and Ekiti states, Alhaji Bala Muhammed and Dr Kayode Fayemi, some top judicial officers as well as friends, relatives and associates of the new CJN.