Friday Olokor

27 October, 2021.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, on Tuesday challenged judges and lawyers to go on individual self-cleansing and do everything possible to rid the law profession of bad eggs.

According to him, judges should not be issuing reckless ex-parte orders while lawyers too should stop filing frivolous suits and forum shopping.

The CJN made his position known in Abuja during the inauguration of Justice Hussein Yusuf as the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory.

Muhammad said, “An occasion like this may be auspicious for self-assessment. It is by coincidence that this event comes at a time the Nigerian Bar Association is holding its 61st Annual General Conference tagged ‘Taking the Lead.’

“The legal profession should indeed take the lead in all human affairs. However, the lead is at a price.

“We cannot take the lead when our courts issue ex-parte orders recklessly. We cannot take the lead when many litigants, with support of their counsel, engage in forum shopping.

“We cannot take the lead when counsel file a case before a court that they know lacks jurisdiction and the judge proceeds to hear the case.  We cannot take the lead when counsel files frivolous cases in our courts just for nuisance value or to buy time.

“Administration of justice is the bedrock of not only democratic or civilised societies, but it also extends beyond the borders of civilised nations. No society can afford to discard administration of justice."

He added, “We must not only do self-assessment, we also need self-cleansing. All hands must, therefore, be on the deck from both the Bar and the Bench to rid the legal profession of bad eggs.

“In recent times, I had cause, on a number of occasions to warn Judges to desist from engaging themselves in unwholesome practices that will erode public confidence in the administration of justice.”

Copyright PUNCH


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