By Henry Ojelu
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Ibrahim Tanko has given assurance that the Judiciary under his watch will not be subservient to anybody.
Justice Tanko stated this in his keynote address at the ongoing Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, in Lagos.
The theme of the conference with over 12,000 lawyers across the country in attendance is ‘Facing the future.
Speaking on the challenges facing the judiciary, Justice Tanko noted that it is worrisome that the judiciary still begs for the fund to carry out its statutory functions.
The CJN, however, maintained that despite its funding challenge, the judiciary under his watch will not be subservient to anybody.
“ The Judiciary is facing very critical challenges but we will not lose the mantra of integrity, equity and honesty on which our judiciary system was built. I will hold on to that even till the last moment of my breath. We will not look at any face or feeling before taking our decisions. If there is any deity, that deity is God. We will never be subservient to anybody no matter how highly placed.
“ it is true that funding is our problem, but we will still do our job. All those concerned should allow us to enjoy our independence. If I have to bend and ask for money, then I am not independent. All I am saying is that funding for the judiciary even at the state level is a problem. It is still the major problem for achieving speedy dispensation of justice. Despite this challenge, we have resolved to face the future with even greater zeal.”
The CJN also lambasted some senior lawyers who are in the habit of filing appeals on cases already decided by the Supreme Court just to continue collecting a legal fee from their clients.
“ The Bench needs the support of the Bar to sustain the ethical practice of our profession. It is said that some lawyers still file fresh appeals in respect of cases already decided by the Supreme Court. They do this just to continue to collect a legal fee from their client. This tells you that there is a serious problem in the profession. Let us call a spade, a spade. What they are doing is wrong.”