by Lekan Olanrewaju
The Chief Justice on Nigeria has a message for judges and public officers in the country. On Monday while speaking at a workshop for judicial officers on judicial ethics, management skills and information technology organised by the National Judicial Institute, Abuja, CJN Dahiru Musdapher lamented the lack of qualities such as “integrity” and “honesty” in judges and public officers in Nigeria.
He stated that good judges are meant to exemplify attributes such as “integrity, honesty, knowledge of the law, willingness to listen, empathy, sense of fair play, patience and humility.”
“These attributes are sadly lacking amongst some judges and generally in Nigeria’s public life,” he said.
“The lack of these attributes could only diminish the high regard in which a judge is held, thereby making him unfit for the exalted position in the hallowed chambers of justice.”
He also stated that the National Judicial Council (NJC) would be establishing “monitoring and evaluation unit” to regulate indecencies among judges.
According to Musdapher, the unit “will be established and directed to promptly take administrative notice of such judges and forward their names to the council for appropriate disciplinary action”.
“On our part as heads of courts, we shall not hesitate to bring these erring judges to book.” he said.
“We shall not shy away from taking appropriate steps to enhance the speedy disposal of pending cases and restoring confidence in the judiciary.”
“The judiciary today is under intense and sustained public scrutiny more than ever in the history of this country. In the face of this increasing public scrutiny, judicial officers must ensure that their judicial activities are irreproachable and their character unimpeachable. Hence, judges are expected not simply to apply the law but to exemplify it.”